Category: Equitable Distribution

Avoid the Divorce Pitfall of Double Dipping

Many of us have heard of the party foul called double dipping — using the same chip or cracker for multiple scoops into the serving dish or crockpot of delicious dip. In divorce litigation, double dip has a much more complicated meaning. In divorce terminology, a double dip occurs when the same income or cash flow is used twice — once as an asset to fashion an equitable distribution of […]

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Divorced Spouses Must Update Beneficiary Designations

Divorced spouses who do not update their beneficiary designations are taking an unnecessary risk, as illustrated by a case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In Sveen v. Melin, No. 16-1432 (cert. granted December 8, 2017), the Met Life insurance company was “caught in the middle” when its policyholder Mark Sveen died in 2011.  He had purchased his life insurance policy and designated his then-wife, Kaye Melin, as his […]

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Lack of Expert, 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  Recently, in Sweeney v. Sweeney, No. 2164 EDA 2015 (August 30, 2016) (non-precedential), the Superior Court confronted a divorce case in which the […]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 | Blog, 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Bortz v. Bortz, No. 1147 MDA 2015 (April 27, 2016)(non-precedential) Husband in this case was a Williamsport police officer who entered into a settlement with his wife when they divorced.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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