Motlagh v. Motlagh

[Cite as Motlagh v. Motlagh, 2017-Ohio-8667.] IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT MONTGOMERY COUNTY SAFA MOTLAGH : : Plaintiff-Appellee : Appellate Case No. 27477 : v. : Trial Court Case No. 14-LS-15 : DJALOLIYA MOTLAGH : (Domestic Relations Appeal) : Defendant-Appellant : : ........... OPINION Rendered on the 22nd day of November, 2017. ........... ROBERT L. MUES, Atty. Reg. No. 0017449, THOMAS G. KOPACZ, Atty. Reg. No. 0091202, 1105 Wilmington Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45420 Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee DALMA C. GRANDJEAN, Atty. Reg. No. 0024841, 1 South Main Street, Suite 1590, Dayton, Ohio 45402 Attorney for Defendant-Appellant ............. TUCKER, J. -2- Defendant-appellant Djaloliya Motlagh appeals from a judgment and decree of divorce entered by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. Ms. Motlagh contends that the trial court erred with regard to its disposition of her claim for support under 8 U.S.C. 1181 et. seq. She further contends that the trial court erred by requiring her to post a surety bond as a means to ensure that she does not remove the parties’ minor daughter from the country. Finally, she claims that the trial court erred by failing to award her attorney fees. We conclude that the trial court did err with regard to the issue of support. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by not awarding attorney fees relating to the divorce action, but that the trial court erred by not considering the issue of attorney fees allowed by 8 U.S.C. 1183a(c). We finally conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering Ms. Motlagh to post a surety bond. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. I. Facts and Procedural History In May 2010, Safa Motlagh, a United States citizen, and Ms. Motlagh, a citizen of Tajikistan, met through an internet dating service. After communicating on-line for a period of several months, Mr. Motlagh traveled to Turkey where he and Ms. Motlagh met for a period of about two weeks. The couple became engaged and Mr. Motlagh returned to the United States where he arranged for Ms. Motlagh to obtain a 90-day fiancée visa. As part of that process, he executed an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, -3- as required by the Immigration and Naturalization Act and 8 U.S.C. 1181 et. seq. Ms. Motlagh entered the United States on July 11, 2011. The parties were married in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on July 23, 2011. They have one minor child as a result of their union. Mr. Motlagh filed a complaint for legal separation on August 27, 2014. Ms. Motlagh filed an answer and a counterclaim for divorce. Mr. Motlagh filed an amended complaint seeking divorce. Temporary orders awarded custody of the child to Ms. Motlagh. Mr. Motlagh was granted the standard order of parenting time, which was later amended to give him one additional Saturday of visitation per month. Mr. Motlagh was ...

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