Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gregory v. Gregory

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

December 18, 2019

JULIE C. GREGORY, n.k.a. JULIE O'NEILL, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DAVID S. GREGORY, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Trial No. DR-1201191

          Julie C. Gregory, pro se,

          Stagnaro Hannigan Koop, Co., L.P.A., and Michaela M. Stagnaro, for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          Crouse, Judge.

         {¶1} The use of a parenting coordinator is a relatively new concept in Ohio and Hamilton County. Parenting coordination is a novel and innovative way to manage high-conflict divorce cases by promoting communication between the parties and resolving ancillary parenting issues outside of the courtroom. Nevertheless, a balance must be struck between fulfilling the purposes of parenting coordination and protecting the due-process rights of the parties.

         {¶2} In one assignment of error, David Gregory ("Father") argues that the trial court erred as a matter of law in overruling his objections to the parenting coordinator's decision in favor of Julie O'Neill ("Mother"). He presents two issues for review: (1) the trial court erred as a matter of law by overruling his objections without a hearing in violation of his due-process rights; and (2) the court's judgment overruling his objections was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Since we reverse the trial court's judgment and remand the cause on the basis of the due-process claim, we do not reach the question of whether the trial court's decision was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         Factual Background

         {¶3} The parties entered into a final decree of divorce and final shared-parenting plan in April 2013. Due to unresolved issues with the parenting plan, Father and Mother both agreed to the appointment of a parenting coordinator. Dr. Leslie Swift was appointed as parenting coordinator in July 2014 pursuant to Local Rule 2.11 of the Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton County, Domestic Relations Division ("LocR. 2.11"). After Swift's first term as parenting coordinator ended, both parties agreed that they still needed a parenting coordinator, but Father argued that it should be someone other than Swift. The judge overruled Father's request, and in June 2016 Swift was appointed to another two-year term.

         {¶4} In April 2018, Swift entered a written decision resolving several parenting conflicts between the parties. Father filed an objection to Swift's decision and requested a hearing before the trial court. The court issued a judgment overruling Father's objections without a hearing in July 2018.

         {¶5} Father now appeals the court's overruling of several of his objections. First, he argues that two expenses that he had incurred should be considered expenses subject to reconciliation-the Sorribes Ear Treatment for the parties' son and the full purchase price of the son's laptop. Swift determined in his decision that the ear treatment was not subject to reconciliation because there was no definitive recommendation from the doctor for that treatment, and the son's therapist said there was no "impelling psychological need" for the treatment. Father paid $2, 800 for the laptop. Swift allowed him to submit $2, 300 for reconciliation, because he found Apple laptops "in the range of $2, 300 with the same screen size, although fewer add-ons."

         {¶6} Second, Father requested that Mother not be permitted to use her vacation days on his Fridays with the children. Swift determined that Mother had taken 11 of her 18 vacation days on Father's regularly scheduled Fridays with the children. Swift ordered that the parties were only permitted to use eight vacation days on Fridays per year.

         {¶7} Third, Father requested that the parties' "one-on-one time" with the children be suspended since the son was not spending time with Mother. Swift denied Father's request, saying that Mother and son were in therapy to improve their relationship, and that Mother had been extremely patient through an extended family-therapy process, so she deserved considerable deference in the matter.

         Parenting Coordination

         {¶8} Many courts throughout Ohio are using parenting coordinators to help resolve recurring parenting disputes over issues such as visitation schedules and child drop-off times that often arise in "high-conflict families." See Sowald & Morganstern, Baldwin's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.