Schoch v. Schoch

[Cite as Schoch v. Schoch, 2019-Ohio-1394.] STATE OF OHIO ) IN THE COURT OF APPEALS )ss: NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COUNTY OF LORAIN ) CARMEN SCHOCH C.A. No. 18CA011382 Appellant v. APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE JEFFREY SCHOCH COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO Appellee CASE No. 17DR082335 DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY Dated: April 15, 2019 CALLAHAN, Judge. {¶1} Appellant, Carmen Schoch, appeals the judgment of divorce ordered by the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. This Court affirms in part and reverses in part. I. {¶2} Carmen and Jeffrey Schoch married in 1998. Throughout their twenty-year marriage, they shared a residence, but conducted their financial affairs on a mostly separate basis. Mr. Schoch was employed by the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority before and throughout the marriage until his physical condition required him to enter disability retirement in 2016. Ms. Schoch worked in a variety of senior care positions throughout the marriage. The couple’s most significant marital assets consisted of the marital residence, the marital portion of Mr. Schoch’s retirement through the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (“OPERS”) and 2 his deferred compensation, and their respective collections that they acquired during the course of the marriage. {¶3} When the Schochs divorced in 2018, the trial court determined that the value of the marital residence was $124,000 and concluded that a portion of the equity was Mr. Schoch’s separate property based on the premarital purchase of the property and contributions toward the construction of a pole barn from the sale of a premarital asset. The trial court recognized that Mr. Schoch’s OPERS retirement was a marital asset, but awarded it to Mr. Schoch in its entirety without determining its value. The trial court assigned a zero value to each item in the parties’ collections and awarded each collection in its entirety to the respective spouse. The trial court also determined that Ms. Schoch’s conduct during the course of the divorce proceedings warranted an award of attorney’s fees to Mr. Schoch. {¶4} Ms. Schoch filed this appeal. Her five assignments of error are rearranged for purposes of discussion. II. ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 3 THE COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT FOUND THE MARITAL HOME TO BE VALUED AT $124,000, RELYING UPON AN APPRAISAL IT SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM EVIDENCE. {¶5} In Ms. Schoch’s third assignment of error, she argues that having excluded an appraisal of the marital residence, the trial court erred by relying on the parties’ testimony about the home’s value that was based on that report. This Court does not agree. {¶6} Because a trial court has discretion in determining the value of a marital asset, this Court will not reverse such a determination in the absence of an abuse of that discretion. Fetzer v. Fetzer, 9th Dist. Wayne No. 12CA0036, 2014-Ohio-747, ¶ 34, citing Sergi v. Sergi, 9th Dist. 3 Summit No. 17476, 1996 WL 425914, *4 (July 31, 1996). An abuse of discretion is present when a trial court’s decision “‘is contrary to ...

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