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Patricia Pawlak v. Joseph Pawlak

November 3, 2011

PATRICIA PAWLAK PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
JOSEPH PAWLAK DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Case No. D-233625

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Colleen Conway Cooney, J.:

Cite as Pawlak v. Pawlak,

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

JUDGMENT:

AFFIRMED

BEFORE: Cooney, J., Kilbane, A.J., and Blackmon, J.

{¶1} Plaintiff-appellant, Patricia Pawlak ("Patricia"), appeals the court's granting the motion to vacate a qualified domestic relations order ("QDRO") filed by defendant-appellee, Joseph Pawlak ("Joseph"). Finding no merit to the appeal, we affirm.

{¶2} Patricia and Joseph were divorced on March 8, 1995. Their divorce decree incorporates their separation agreement, which provides, in pertinent part:

"Wife shall retain Husband's Sysco Pension Plan, pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order prepared by Wife's counsel, and approved by Husband's counsel upon the journalization of the parties' Judgment Entry for Divorce."

{¶3} The QDRO states, in pertinent part:

"* * * Patricia Pawlak would receive one hundred percent (100%) of the Participant Joseph Pawlak's accrued benefit in the Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund * * *."

{¶4} In January 2010, well over a decade after the execution of the separation agreement and QDRO, Joseph filed a motion to vacate the QDRO claiming that he never intended to give Patricia 100% of his Cleveland Bakers pension. Joseph contends that he gave Patricia 100% of his Sysco pension plan, as stipulated in the separation agreement, and entered by the divorce decree. The magistrate found in favor of Joseph's motion to vacate the QDRO, finding that it is void ab initio because it is inconsistent with the separation agreement.

{¶5} The magistrate granted Joseph's additional motion for a nunc pro tunc entry*fn1 and allowed the temporary restraining order to remain in effect for the Cleveland Bakers Pension Fund. Patricia objected to the magistrate's decision, but the court ...


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