Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull
DAVID M. HANSHAW, SR. Plaintiff-Appellant,
WENDY ANN HANSHAW, Defendant-Appellee.
Appeals from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas,
Domestic Relations Division, Case No. 2008 DR 00195.
Michael A. Partlow, and Sarah Thomas Kovoor, Ford, Gold,
Kovoor & Simon, LTD., (For Plaintiff-Appellant).
M. Burkey, Burkey, Burkey & Scher Co., L.P.A., and Daniel
G. Keating, Keating Law Office, (For Defendant-Appellee).
R. WRIGHT, P.J.
Appellant, David Hanshaw, appeals the decision awarding
custody of the parties' minor child to appellee, Wendy
Zimmerman, formerly Wendy Hanshaw. We affirm.
The parties were married in 2006 and had one child in 2007.
David filed for divorce in 2008. The trial court adopted the
parties' agreed shared parenting plan in its final
divorce decree in September of 2011. In July of 2012, Wendy
moved to terminate the shared parenting plan and sought sole
custody of the parties' daughter. In August of 2012,
Wendy also moved to hold David in contempt for his continued
failure to abide by the shared parenting plan. The guardian
ad litem from the divorce proceedings was reappointed, and
Wendy subsequently moved for emergency custody of the child
based on David's recent guilty plea in a criminal case
and his admission in that case that he suffers from drug
dependency and mental health issues. She later withdrew her
emergency motion, and the matter was heard on her original
motion to terminate.
In July of 2014, the court terminated the shared parenting
plan and named Wendy the child's legal custodian and
residential parent. This decision, however, was subsequently
vacated for reasons not relevant here. Therefore, the trial
court held a custody hearing over several days from May
through September of 2017. Throughout the proceedings, David
argued for continuation of the original shared parenting plan
in which he was designated residential parent.
Following hearing, the magistrate issued a decision
recommending termination of the parties' shared parenting
plan and that Wendy be designated the residential parent and
legal custodian. David filed four objections. The trial court
overruled his objections and adopted the magistrate's
David's sole assignment of error asserts:
"The trial court's finding that appellee should be
established as residential parent of the child is against the
manifest weight of the evidence and constitutes an abuse of
David does not challenge the trial court's decision to
terminate the shared parenting plan and as such, we do not
address this aspect on appeal. Instead, he argues that he
should have been named the residential parent, not Wendy, and
that the trial court's decision in this regard is against
the manifest weight of the evidence and an abuse of
We review custody issues with great deference and do not
disturb a trial court's decision unless an abuse of
discretion is evident. Bates-Brown v. Brown, 11th
Dist. Trumbull No. 2006-T0089, 2007-Ohio-5203, ¶ 18,
citing Miller v. Miller , 37 Ohio St.3d 71, 74, 523
N.E.2d 846 (1988). An abuse of discretion connotes judgment
that comports with neither reason nor the record. Shendel
v. Graham, 11th Dist. Lake No. 2016-L-100,
2017-Ohio-4236, 92 N.E.3d 43, ¶ 9.
"'Where an award of custody is supported by a
substantial amount of credible and competent evidence, such
an award will not be reversed as being against the weight ...