Category: Equitable Distribution

Lack of Expert and Evidence Foils Business Valuation in Divorce

Personal Goodwill versus Enterprise Goodwill

When a business is an asset in a Pennsylvania divorce, the court needs detailed information — and often a business valuation in divorce — to perform equitable distribution. The information must be presented in court in an effective way.  Not having a business valuation or detailed information can lead to unexpected results.  Recently, in Sweeney v. Sweeney, No. 2164 EDA 2015 (August 30, 2016) (non-precedential), the Superior Court confronted a divorce case in which the […]

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QDRO Divides Pension at Retirement Date Unless Agreement Specifies Otherwise

May 14, 2016 | Court Decisions, Equitable Distribution

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

Bortz v. Bortz, No. 1147 MDA 2015 (April 27, 2016)(non-precedential) Husband in this case was a Williamsport police officer who entered into a settlement with his wife when they divorced.  Their agreement provided that she would receive fifty-five percent (55%) of the “marital portion of Husband’s retirement account(s) and/or pension plan(s) through his employment with the City of Williamsport.” The “marital portion” would be determined “pursuant to current law,” said […]

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Contracting Party Who Assumed Risk Could not Rescind Marital Settlement Agreement for Mutual Mistake

January 13, 2016 | Court Decisions, Equitable Distribution, Settlement

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

In Orris v. Orris, No. 340 WDA 2015 (September 30, 2015), a non-precedential decision, the husband and wife entered into a marital settlement agreement after Wife procured an appraisal of the timber rights associated with marital property. In the agreement, Husband surrendered the timber rights to Wife in exchange for the marital residence. Subsequently, after the divorce was finalized, Husband presented a petition to rescind the agreement on the grounds […]

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Post-Settlement Reconciliation Does Not Abrogate Settlement Agreement

January 13, 2016 | Court Decisions, Equitable Distribution

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

In Semulka v. Semulka, No. 1302 WDA 2014 (August 31, 2015), the Superior Court in a non-precedential opinion considered whether a marital settlement agreement could be enforced after a former husband and wife reconciled their marriage, and then broke up again. More specifically, Husband and Wife signed an agreement after Wife filed a divorce action, and in that agreement, Husband was obligated to pay $40,000 cash to Wife in three […]

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