Category: Settlement

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

In Orris v. Orris, No. 340 WDA 2015 (September 30, 2015), a non-precedential decision, the husband and wife entered into a marital settlement agreement after Wife procured an appraisal of the timber rights associated with marital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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Can Divorced Exes Remain Partners in Business?

Business owners in Pennsylvania who are seeking a divorce may be encouraged to hear that it is possible to remain business partners even while dissolving the marital relationship. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 3.7 million small businesses are owned by married couples. Many of them face divorce each year, placing their businesses at risk as emotions interfere with corporate decision-making and cash flow. For some businesses, it is impractical […]

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Suspicion of Fraud Will Not Defeat Divorce Settlement Agreement

Couples who have settled their divorce in Pennsylvania may recall that divorce settlement agreements are final and enforceable only if there has been a full and fair disclosure of marital assets. A recent decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court tests this principle in a case where one spouse suspected that her husband may have been less than honest in disclosing his net worth. In Ford v. Ford, the wife petitioned […]

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Marital Settlement Agreement Contains Implied Obligations

In an unpublished decision, the Superior Court has considered the plight of a spouse who entered into a marital settlement agreement thinking that her husband would pursue a gas/oil lease, from which she was entitled to receive a share of the royalties. The Jenkins v. Jenkins decision (No. 1025 WDA 2012, September 26, 2013) arose from a Fayette county case, in which the wife sued the husband for breach of […]

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Husband’s Divorce Settlement Forecloses Action by His Corporation Against Wife

In Habjan v. Habjan, ___ A.2d ___ (Pa.Super.2013), the Superior Court was confronted with a question of whether to “pierce the corporate veil” by holding Husband responsible for a lawsuit initiated by his business corporation against Wife, thereby abrogating the release that Husband gave her in his marital settlement agreement. Husband and Wife were each 50% owners and officers of a corporation formed during the marriage to operate motels in […]

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Pennsylvania Courts Examine Full and Fair Disclosure in Family Law Agreements

Marriage and divorce are not cold business transactions. Couples who are about to marry or divorce have emotions and intimate relationships that may compromise their ability to negotiate at arm’s length like business people. For this reason, the law of Pennsylvania prior to 1990 imposed two special requirements upon family law agreements, such as prenups and divorce settlement agreements.  Pennsylvania law prior to 1990 required (i) full and fair disclosure […]

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