Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Geauga
Appeals from the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Case
No. 2015 DC 000999.
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
G. Stafford and Nicole A. Cruz, Stafford Law Co., LPA, (For
H. Kraus, (For Defendant-Appellee).
Plaintiff-appellant, Jennifer DeGrant, appeals the Judgments
of the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, whereby the court
issued a Decree of Divorce between her and
defendant-appellee, Mark DeGrant, with respect to the issues
of child custody, child support, spousal support, the
division of marital property, and attorney fees, and whereby
the court denied her Motion for New Trial. For the following
reasons, we affirm in part the decision of the court below,
reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings
consistent with this Opinion.
On December 29, 2015. Jennifer filed a Complaint for Divorce
with Motion for ex parte Temporary Restraining Order against
Mark and TD Ameritrade, where it was averred the parties
"maintain an account * * * which contains stocks, mutual
funds, bonds and cash, the exact nature of which account is
unknown to Plaintiff."
On February 1, 2016, TD Ameritrade filed an Answer.
On February 16, 2016, Mark filed an Answer and Counterclaim
for Divorce, to which Jennifer replied on February 25, 2016.
Trial was held before a magistrate on the following dates:
October 31, 2017; November 1, 2017; January 3-5, 2018;
January 8, 2018; January 18, 2018; January 22-23, 2018;
January 26, 2018; January 31, 2018; February 1, 2018;
February 9, 2018; and February 12-13, 2018.
On June 25, 2018, a Magistrate's Decision was issued with
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. The magistrate made
the following relevant findings and conclusions:
1. The parties [Mark, age 58, and Jennifer, age 42] were
married on June 22, 2007, in Mayfield Hts., Ohio in a civil
* * *
2. One child was born as issue of the marriage, [R.D.] * * *,
born December 1, 2011.
* * *
11. "During the marriage" means July 22 [sic],
2007, to October 31, 2017. See R.C. 3105.171(A)(2).
12. Each party is entitled to a divorce from the other on the
grounds of living separate and apart for over one year.
See R.C. 3105.01.
* * *
14. Prior to filing for divorce, Plaintiff obtained an ex
parte domestic violence civil protection order ("DV
CPO") December 3, 201, naming Plaintiff and [R.D.] as
protected parties and vacating Defendant from the marital
15. After issuance of the ex parte order, Defendant did not
see the child until a Magistrate Order, filed February 19,
2016, modified the ex parte CPO permitting Defendant to have
16. Plaintiff dismissed the DV CPO on July 26, 2016.
17. On July 26, 2016, an Agreed Temporary Protection Order
was filed in this case incorporating the terms of the
modified DV CPO, including no contact between the parties.
* * *
70. After consideration of factors in R.C. 3109.04(F)(2),
this court finds Defendant's proposed shared parenting
plan is in the best interest of the child.
* * *
80. Plaintiff has not been employed since January 2007,
approximately six months before the parties' marriage.
* * *
85. Defendant has not been employed since 2006, approximately
one year before the parties' marriage.
* * *
92. Plaintiff is voluntarily unemployed. Plaintiff is capable
of earning at least $37, 000 per year.
93. For purposes of child support, Plaintiff is imputed
annual income of $37, 000.00.
94. Defendant is voluntarily unemployed. Defendant is capable
of earning at least $45, 000 per year.
95. For purposes of child support, Defendant is imputed
annual income of $45, 000.00.
96. It is in the child's best interest for Defendant to
pay child support to Plaintiff, in the sum of $545.62 per
month, plus 2% processing fee. See R.C. 3119.23.
* * *
102. The parties have a joint checking account (5073) at
103. Plaintiff has: (1) Citibank checking account (6865); and
(2) Citibank savings account (4418).
104. Defendant has: (1) Chase checking account (5065); (2)
Chase savings account (8934); (3) Bank of America checking
account (0818); and (4) Bank of America Money Market account
105. Defendant opened his Bank of America checking and money
market accounts prior to marriage.
106. Defendant has a TD Ameritrade investment account (3460).
107. Neither party testified to any current account balances.
108. Neither party had access to the other parties'
* * *
124. On July 27, 1993, Defendant purchased a residence at
8146 Boss Street, Vienna VA. The property was unencumbered by
a mortgage. The residence was sold on May 31, 2009, resulting
in net proceeds of $583, 865. The net proceeds were deposited
into Defendant's TD Ameritrade account.
125. On April 28, 2006, Defendant purchased a residence at
809 Elden Street, Herndon VA for $1, 080, 146 (adjusted
purchase price), subject to a mortgage of $600, 000.
Defendant refinanced the mortgage once; Plaintiff had no part
in the refinance. Plaintiff and Defendant resided in the
house until its sale on October 21, 2010. The sale resulted
in net proceeds of $161, 978.
126. Prior to marriage, Plaintiff owned a townhouse on
Fontwell Drive, Sterling, Virginia. The property was
encumbered by a mortgage. Plaintiff did not testify to the
amount of the mortgage.
* * *
130. Plaintiff testified the townhouse sold for "tens of
thousands of dollars" in 2013 or 2014. No evidence was
provided of the amount or disposition of sale proceeds.
131. On October 27, 2012, the parties purchased the residence at
107 Ashleigh Drive[, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, ] for $1, 010,
000.00. A down payment of $333, 978 was made on the property
from the following sources: a) $161, 978 from net proceeds of
the sale of the Herndon property; b) $172, 000 from
Defendant's TD Ameritrade account.
* * *
166. The parties' joint Chase account should be equally
divided and closed.
167. Each party should retain the bank accounts in his or her
168. Plaintiff should retain her TD Ameritrade IRA [a
rollover from her former employer]. See R.C.
169. Defendant should retain his T Rowe Price IRA [a rollover
401k retirement account], Fidelity IRA [a rollover 401k
retirement account], and TD Ameritrade IRA [premarital].
See R.C. 3105.171(A)(6)(a)(ii).
170. Plaintiff should receive 8.2% of Defendant's TD
Ameritrade investment account (3460) within 30 days of
journalization of the Judgment Entry. See R.C.
171. The [Ashleigh] house should be immediately listed for
sale with Adam Kaufman of Howard Hanna Realty.
* * *
180. Plaintiff should receive 5.81% of net proceeds from the
sale of the marital residence and Defendant should receive
the balance of net proceeds. See R.C.
* * *
189. Plaintiff has a Citi credit card with a balance close to
$31, 000 as of January 22, 2018.
* * *
200. Each party should pay credit card debt in their own
201. Plaintiff drives an unencumbered Porsche Cayenne
purchased during the marriage. Defendant testified the
vehicle's value is $22, 000. Defendant stipulated the
vehicle is a marital asset.
202. Defendant drives an unencumbered Jeep, valued at $4,
000. Defendant stipulated the vehicle is a marital asset.
203. Each party should retain the vehicle in his or her
possession. See R.C. ...