WWW.DISSERTATION.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 |

«STATE OF OHIO ) IN THE COURT OF APPEALS )ss: NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COUNTY OF MEDINA ) ELIZABETH SCHAAF C. A. No. 05CA0060-M Appellee v. APPEAL FROM ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

[Cite as Schaaf v. Schaaf, 2006-Ohio-2983.]

STATE OF OHIO ) IN THE COURT OF APPEALS

)ss: NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

COUNTY OF MEDINA )

ELIZABETH SCHAAF C. A. No. 05CA0060-M

Appellee

v. APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT

ENTERED IN THE

ROBERT SCHAAF COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

COUNTY OF MEDINA, OHIO

Appellant CASE No. 95DR0173

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

Dated: June 14, 2006 This cause was heard upon the record in the trial court. Each error assigned

has been reviewed and the following disposition is made:

WHITMORE, Presiding Judge.

{1} Defendant-Appellant Robert A. Schaaf (“Robert”) has appealed from the judgment of the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, which modified the amount but not the duration of his spousal support obligation. This Court affirms.

I {2} The instant matter presents a long and convoluted procedural history. As such, we will only discuss the procedural aspects relevant to the instant appeal.

2 {3} Robert and Plaintiff-Appellee Elizabeth A. Schaaf (“Elizabeth”) were married on June 20, 1970 and three children resulted from the marriage. On April 7, 1995, Elizabeth filed for divorce in the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. A hearing was held regarding the matter on September 25, 1996. The trial court entered its final judgment order granting the parties a divorce on November 18, 1996 (the “divorce decree”). The court’s order specifically found that: Robert’s annual income was $72,000, not including bonuses. Elizabeth’s income was $10,192 and she was the primary caregiver for the children. Robert earned in excess of $100,000 in 1995 and would most likely do the same in 1996. Robert was a college graduate, and had been successful in sales and marketing for the communication industry. Elizabeth had worked prior to the marriage and while Robert was in college, but had not worked since 1979.

Elizabeth did not complete college, and had limited employable skills.

{4} The trial court made the following conclusions of law relevant to this appeal. Robert and Elizabeth were granted the divorce and Elizabeth was designated as the residential parent and legal custodian of the three children.

Robert was ordered to pay Elizabeth $1,200 per month in spousal support to be increased by $200 per month upon emancipation of each child, until the last child emancipated at which time the child support obligation would terminate. At that time, the spousal support award was to decrease back down to $1,200 per month

–  –  –

for life, or until Elizabeth’s remarriage or cohabitation. The trial court specifically reserved continuing jurisdiction over the spousal support.

{5} On December 17, 1997, Robert appealed the divorce decree. This Court issued its decision on December 24, 1997, and relevant to this appeal, affirmed the divorce decree with regard to the amount and duration of the spousal support.

{6} On May 19, 2004, Robert filed a motion to modify spousal support, alleging that a substantial change of circumstances had occurred since the date of the divorce decree.1 A hearing on the motion was conducted on September 2,

2004. On October 12, 2004, the magistrate issued her decision, in which she found a change in circumstances and reduced Robert’s monthly spousal support to $800 per month until the first of: either party’s death, Elizabeth’s marriage or cohabitation, or January 30, 2014. Robert subsequently filed objections to the magistrate’s decision on October 26, 2004 and filed supplemental objections on January 31, 2005. A hearing was conducted concerning Robert’s objections on February 11, 2005. On May 31, 2005, the trial court filed a judgment order in which it reversed the magistrate’s decision with regard to the spousal support termination date of January 30, 2014, but affirmed the propriety of the modified award of $800.

–  –  –

“THE TRIAL COURT ERRED, AS A MATTER OF LAW, IN

RULING THAT IT LACKED AUTHORITY TO MODIFY THE

TERM, OR DURATION, OF THE INDEFINITE LIFETIME

SPOUSAL SUPPORT AWARD, WHICH HAD PREVIOUSLY

BEEN AFFIRMED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS ON DIRECT

APPEAL, WHERE THE TRIAL COURT HAD EXPRESSLY

RESERVED JURISDICTION TO MODIFY THE AMOUNT OR

TERMS OF THE SPOUSAL SUPPORT ORDER UPON A

CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES OF A PARTY.”

{8} In his first assignment of error, Robert has argued that the trial court erred when it reversed the magistrate’s finding that Robert’s spousal support obligation should terminate on January 30, 2014. Specifically, Robert has argued that the court incorrectly found that it was precluded from modifying a spousal

–  –  –

argued that the trial court had reserved jurisdiction to modify the award in the event of a change of circumstances.





{9} This Court reviews a trial court's decision modifying spousal support under an abuse of discretion standard. Barrows v. Barrows, 9th Dist. No. 21904, 1 On June 2, 2002, Elizabeth and Robert’s youngest child was emancipated.

Accordingly, Robert’s spousal support award returned to $1,200 pursuant to the divorce decree.

–  –  –

2004-Ohio-4878, at 4. An abuse of discretion connotes more than a mere error in judgment; it signifies an attitude on the part of the trial court that is unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable. Blakemore v. Blakemore (1983), 5 Ohio St.3d 217,

219. Absent an abuse of discretion, a spousal support award will not be disturbed on appeal. Barrows at 4. Finally, “when applying the [abuse of discretion] standard, an appellate court is not free to substitute its judgment for that of the trial judge.” Berk v. Matthews (1990), 53 Ohio St.3d 161, 169.

{10} It is well established that a trial court may modify the amount or terms of a spousal support award. Eckstein v. Eckstein, 9th Dist. No. 03CA0048M, 2004-Ohio-724, at 21. “R.C. 3105.18(E) provides that the trial court may modify the amount or terms of a spousal support order upon a determination that the circumstances of either party have changed, provided that the trial court retained jurisdiction with respect to the spousal support.” Id.

{11} In the instant matter, the trial court explicitly reserved jurisdiction to modify the amount and terms of the spousal support. In paragraph 24 of the divorce decree, the court stated that Robert’s spousal support obligation was “subject to the continuing jurisdiction of this Court[.]” In paragraph 25 of the divorce decree, the court stated that it “may modify the amount or terms of this spousal support order upon the change of circumstances of a party” pursuant to R.C. 3105.18(E). We think it is clear that the trial court reserved jurisdiction.

–  –  –

{12} We also find that a change in circumstances occurred. “[A] change in circumstances includes, but is not limited to, any increase or involuntary decrease in the party’s wages, salary, bonuses, living expenses, or medical expenses.” Malizia v. Malizia, 9th Dist. No. 22565, 2005-Ohio-5186, at 11, citing R.C. 3105.18(F). Further, this Court has held that “any increase or involuntary decrease in the party’s wages, salary, bonuses, living expenses, or medical expenses[]” constitutes a change in circumstances. (Quotation omitted).

Kingsolver v. Kingsolver, 9th Dist. No. 21773, 2004-Ohio-3844, at 24.

{13} In the present case, Robert’s salary has involuntarily decreased from $72,000 at the time of the divorce to $66,500. Additionally, prior to him losing his employment in January 2003, Robert’s average gross income (including bonuses) was $107,199. In 2003, Robert’s combined income, including unemployment, pro-rated salary from his new employer, and accumulated vacation and sick time from his previous employer, was $87,090.31. The record indicates that Robert currently makes $66,500 per year in salary and has not earned any bonuses.

{14} With regard to Elizabeth, at the time of divorce, the court imputed to her an income of $10,192 solely for child support calculation purposes. Currently, the record indicates that Elizabeth has increased her income to $24,481.60.

According to her 2003 W2 form, Elizabeth’s 2003 income was $22,415.

–  –  –

{15} It is clear to this Court that the trial court reserved jurisdiction to modify the amount and term of the spousal support upon a change in circumstances and it is equally clear that a change in circumstances did occur.

Accordingly, the trial court had the authority to modify the spousal support order regardless of this Court’s opinion in Schaaf v. Schaaf (Dec. 24, 1997), 9th Dist.

No. 2652-M.

{16} This result is logical. The fact that this Court affirmed the amount and term of the original spousal support order does not bar a trial court from reevaluating the order upon a showing of a change in circumstances. The law of the case doctrine provides that the “decision of a reviewing court remains the law of the case in all subsequent proceedings. However, the law of the case doctrine is limited to decisions by the trial court which involve substantially the same facts and issues as were involved in the prior appeal[.]” (Quotations and citations omitted). Schrader v. Schrader (Sept. 29, 1999), 9th Dist. No. 2899-M, at 2.

{17} In the present case, because the change in circumstances occurred after the original appeal, the trial court’s decision did not involve the same facts and issues as the original appeal. See Id. (finding that the law of the case doctrine did not apply where the increase in income occurred after the original appeal). To preclude a trial court from reevaluating a spousal support award upon a showing of a change in circumstances would entirely contradict R.C. 3105.18(E) and this Court’s precedents.

–  –  –

{18} Therefore, we find that the trial court did err when it misapplied the law of the case doctrine. However, the fact that the trial court erred in relying on the law of the case doctrine does not justify a reversal by this Court.

{19} It is well established in Ohio that “a reviewing court is not authorized to reverse a correct judgment merely because erroneous reasons were assigned as a basis thereof.” State ex rel. Carter v. Schotten (1994), 70 Ohio St.3d 89, 92. Further, this Court has held that “an appellate court shall affirm a trial court’s judgment that is legally correct on other grounds, that is, one that achieves the right result for the wrong reason, because such an error is not prejudicial.” (Citation omitted). Cook Family Invests. v. Billings, 9th Dist. Nos. 05CA008689 & 05CA008691, 2006-Ohio-764, at 19.

{20} While the trial court mistakenly believed it was precluded from modifying the spousal support award by the law of the case doctrine, that belief was not the sole reason for reversing the magistrate’s decision regarding the duration of the spousal support. It is well recognized that Ohio courts have validated open ended or lifetime spousal support awards in cases “involving a marriage of long duration, parties of advanced age, or where a homemaker-spouse has little opportunity to develop meaningful employment outside the home.” Schieve v. Schieve, 9th Dist. No. 05CA0037-M, 2005-Ohio-5190, at 14, citing Kunkle v. Kunkle (1990), 51 Ohio St.3d 64, paragraph one of the syllabus. In Bowen v. Bowen (Feb. 9, 1999), 132 Ohio App.3d 616, this Court held that a

–  –  –

marriage of twenty years constituted a marriage of long duration and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting an indefinite award. Id. at 627.

{21} In the present case, the trial court considered the above principles and precedents in addition to its conclusion that law of the case doctrine was controlling. The court concluded that Robert and Elizabeth’s 26 year marriage was of long duration, that Elizabeth was fifty five years old and that Elizabeth had limited earning potential because of she had devoted most of her time during the marriage to caring for the family. These facts are sufficient by themselves to warrant an indefinite spousal support award under our precedents. In addition, the trial court also took into consideration the factors enumerated in R.C. 3105.18(C) and (F), all of which were appropriate to consider when examining the duration of spousal support.

{22} Accordingly, this Court cannot conclude that the trial court abused its discretion when it reversed the magistrate’s decision to impose a termination date and reinstated the indefinite award.2 {23} Robert’s first assignment of error lacks merit.

–  –  –

“THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY FAILING

TO EITHER TERMINATE THE INDEFINITE LIFETIME

SPOUSAL SUPPORT AWARD, OR TO DRASTICALLY

REDUCE BOTH THE DURATION AND AMOUNT OF

2 The trial court retained the termination clauses regarding Elizabeth’s remarriage, cohabitation or death.

–  –  –

APPELLANT EX-HUSBAND’S MONTHLY SPOUSAL

SUPPORT OBLIGATION, WHERE IT CORRECTLY FOUND

THAT A SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES HAD



Pages:   || 2 |


Similar works:

«Reproduced from the Library of the Editor of www.theSamaritanUpdate.com Copyright 2011 THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH: WILLIAM E. BARTON 1 JACOB, SON OF AARON, HIGH PRIEST OF THE SAMARITANS AT SHECHEM. THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH: THE STORY OF A SURVIVAL AMONG THE SECTS. BY WILLIAM E. BARTON, D. D. ( Published in the BIBLIOTHECA SACRA for October, 1903, and reprinted by the courtesy of its Editor.) OBERLIN, OHIO: THE BIBLIOTHECA SACRA COMPANY. 1903. 2 AUTOGRAPH LETTER IN ARABIC OF JACOB THE HIGH PRIEST....»

«  London Borough of Ealing Development Strategy Examination in Public Submission Statement for Matter 9   (Protecting and Enhancing Ealing’s Green and Open Space)  Question 6    By   Neil Kedar on behalf of Corporate Finance Property Development, Transport for London   (Personal Objector Reference: 13, Representations No 62 and 63)    10 October 2011                  1 LB Ealing Development Strategy, Submission Statement for Matter 9    ...»

«371 НОВИНИ ЗАРУБІЖНОЇ НАУКИ Abdul Haque1, Jui Cheng Hung2, Hung Chun Liu3 PAKISTANI STOCK MARKET AND RATIONAL SPECULATIVE BUBBLES4 Recent years have witnessed a tremendous boom at the Pakistani equity market followed by a sudden meltdown. By employing the univariate time series analysis and duration dependence test (DDT) (McQueen and Thorley, 1994) over the weekly return data of KSE 100 index for the peri od from 1999 to 2008 this study investigates whether this boom was...»

«CERTIFIED HOMEOPATHIC ONLINE COURSE SESSION 7: Top 34 Homeopathic Remedies • Sulphur Sublimated Sulphur This is great Hahnemannian anti-psoric. Its action is centrifugal-from within outward-having an elective affinity for the skin, where it produces heat and burning, with itching; made worse by heat of bed. Inertia and relaxation of fiber; hence feebleness of tone characterizes its symptoms. Ebullitions of heat, dislike of water, dry and hard hair and skin, red orifices, sinking feeling at...»

«NASA FBC TASK FINAL REPORT Preface In the early 1990s, NASA adopted the Faster, Better, Cheaper (FBC) approach to project management of its Space and Earth Science Missions. The goal was to shorten development times, reduce cost, and increase the scientific return by flying more missions in less time. One of the first Faster, Better, Cheaper missions was Mars Pathfinder, which touched down on Mars on July 4, 1997, and became a resounding success. The Project Manager for Mars Pathfinder was Tony...»

«Zilda Maria Gesueli LINGUA(GEM) E IDENTIDADE: A SURDEZ EM QUESTÃO ZILDA MARIA GESUELI* RESUMO: Este trabalho discute o papel da língua de sinais na construção da identidade surda. Diferentes autores têm discutido a relação língua(gem) na construção da identidade, destacando-se que esta se constitui a partir da significação – ao significar o sujeito se significa (Orlandi, 1998). Dessa forma, buscamos trazer esta discussão para o campo da surdez levando em conta que, o interlocutor...»

«Mohammed N. Al-Ali and Yara B. Sahawneh Rhetorical and Textual Organization of English and Arabic PhD Dissertation Abstracts in Linguistics Abstract This study compares English and Arabic PhD dissertation abstracts in the field of linguistics in an attempt to study the rhetorical and linguistic variations between the abstracts written in English and those written in Arabic. To this end, we have analyzed the rhetorical components that constitute the macrostructure of fifty English PhD...»

«Hiram College Faculty, Staff, & Student Publications & Scholarly Activity 2013 This list represents the public scholarly output of the members of the Hiram College Community for the calendar year 2013. It includes books, dissertations, articles, presentations, performances, exhibitions, reviews, and other public activities as appropriate. Boldfaced journal titles indicate peer review. Photos are provided for those publishing books and completing dissertations. We have included as many links as...»

«DISSERTATION Titel der Dissertation „Chloroplast-localized protein kinases and a peek at the impact of protein acylation on chloroplast import“ angestrebter akademischer Grad Doktor der Naturwissenschaften (Dr. rer. nat.) Verfasser: Mag. Roman Bayer Dissertationsgebiet (lt. Studienblatt): Genetik Mikrobiologie Betreuer: Dr. Markus Teige Wien, im Juli 2010 Unendlich viele Wege, du kannst sie alle geh'n, sie alle sind von Zufällen gesäumt. Wähl’ aus und überlege, um endlich einzuseh'n,...»

«Food and nutrition security in households affected by HIV/AIDS Molo District, Kenya September – October 2009 Author: Pascale Brevet Student of the Master in Food Culture and Communication University of Gastronomic Sciences, Colorno (Italy) 1 Table of content ABBREVIATIONS 4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 5 INTRODUCTION 6 HIV/AIDS STATUS IN KENYA 7 NATIONAL ACTORS AND POLICIES 7 HIV PREVALENCE 9 HIV TREATMENT 11 LIVELIHOOD OF INFECTED AND AFFECTED PEOPLE 12 WHAT IS DONE IN TERMS OF NUTRITION AND HIV/AIDS 13...»

«Copyright by Priscilla Ann Hoke 2004 The Dissertation Committee for Priscilla Ann Hoke Certifies that this is the approved version of the following dissertation: Tapestries of Nurturance in Children’s Role Play: A Case Study of Children’s Expressions of Nurturing in a Preschool Classroom Committee: Stuart Reifel, Supervisor Barbara Hatcher Norvell W. Northcutt Harriett D. Romo Lisa S. Goldstein Tapestries of Nurturance in Children’s Role Play: A Case Study of Children’s Expressions of...»

«Annals of the   University of North Carolina Wilmington  Master of Science in   Computer Science and Information Systems    http://www.csb.uncw.edu/mscsis/ COMPUTATIONAL METHODS FOR DETERMINING THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN ANCIENT GREEK MANUSCRIPTS Eddie Dunn A Capstone Project Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science Department of Computer Science Department of Information Systems...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.