Cheryl L. Johnson, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Donald McCarthy, Defendant-Appellee.
from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of
Domestic Relations. (C.P.C. No. 03DR-1429)
Wolinetz & Horvath, LLC, and Dennis E. Horvath, for
W. Adair, III, for appellee.
1} Plaintiff-appellant, Cheryl L. Johnson, appeals a
judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas,
Division of Domestic Relations, that denied her motion for
clarification. For the following reasons, we affirm that
2} In a judgment dated November 16, 2005, the trial
court granted Johnson and defendant-appellee, Donald
McCarthy, a divorce. In addition to determining custody and
support issues, the trial court also divided the parties'
marital assets, including McCarthy's IBM pension. At the
time of the divorce, McCarthy's IBM pension benefits were
vested, but not mature. The trial court found that the
entirety of the IBM pension constituted marital property. In
dividing the IBM pension, the trial court ordered:
[Johnson] is awarded an equal division of the [IBM] personal
pension plan * * *. [McCarthy] shall promptly and fully
cooperate with the transfer of the one[-]half interests
awarded to [Johnson] in each of the above retirement plans to
[Johnson's] name via a Qualified Domestic Relations
Order, rollover or other appropriate instrument.
(Nov. 16, 2005 Judgment Entry - Decree of Divorce at 15-16.)
3} Almost 12 years after the parties' divorce,
Johnson moved for clarification of the November 16, 2005
divorce decree. Johnson argued that the decree was ambiguous
because it did not specify the date on which the valuation
and division of the IBM pension had to occur. Johnson urged
the trial court to interpret the decree as adopting the date
of McCarthy's retirement, December 31, 2015, as the date
for valuation and division of the IBM pension.
4} In response, McCarthy contended that the trial
court provided the date for valuation and division of the
marital assets, including the IBM pension, when it determined
that "[t]he duration of the marriage for the purposes of
the valuation of the assets and property division is from the
date of the marriage, June 19, 1982[, ] to the first day of
trial, September 19, 2005." (Nov. 16, 2005 Judgment
Entry - Decree of Divorce at 4.) McCarthy asserted that,
based on this provision, the trial court unambiguously
selected September 19, 2005 as the date for the valuation and
division of the IBM pension benefits. ...