Category: Marital Property

Concealed Oil and Gas Rights Are Marital Property Subject to Equitable Distribution

A recent unpublished decision of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania confirms that oil and gas rights, not disclosed in the discovery or inventories of the divorcing spouses, nevertheless must be considered when dividing marital property in equitable distribution. In Welsh v. Welsh, No. 237 WDA 2012 (June 19, 2013), the Superior Court affirmed the decision of the Washington County judge. In that case, husband and wife filed inventories in which […]

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Protecting Assets in Divorce

One of the first issues that spouses may encounter during a marital separation is the problem of protecting assets, particularly bank accounts, investments, personal property, and cash. There is a natural tendency toward mistrust at the beginning of a divorce case, which can lead to paranoia or  reckless misdeeds if it is not handled properly. These tips can help to avoid stressful conflict during marital separation: 1. Start a new […]

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Tracing Nonmarital Property

A recent Superior Court decision, Childress v. Bogosian, 2011 WL 61616 (2011), illustrates the challenge of tracing nonmarital property in divorce. Under Pennsylvania law, the property owned by a spouse prior to marriage, or acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage, or acquired after separation, is generally nonmarital property if it has not been converted into marital property by re-titling it in joint names. Still, the law creates a […]

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Personal Injury Award is Marital Property, Says Pa. Supreme Court

December 05, 2011 | Court Decisions, Legal Perspective, Marital Property

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

Stare decisis is a central principal of jurisprudence. That’s why it’s big news when a court explicitly overrules a long-standing precedent. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court did just that last month in Focht v. Focht, a 6-1 decision issued on November 23, 2011. In Focht, the husband suffered a personal injury at an automotive race track about 2-1/2 years before they separated. The personal injury suit was settled a few months […]

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Double Dip and Goodwill Considered by Wisconsin Supreme Court

Last month the Wisconsin Supreme Court weighed in on two issues that are important to family lawyers and their clients who operate professional practices like physicians, lawyers, dentists and accountants. In Marriage of McReath, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that “saleable” goodwill would be considered marital property, in a case where a dentist argued that “personal” goodwill should not be counted as part of the marital estate. The Court also […]

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5 Settlement Documents that Divorcing Business Owners Must Have

When business owners get divorced, their settlement may have profound consequences for the business and other owners. Often, one spouse “sells” or gives up a share of the business to the other spouse. Since most small business owners do not have enough cash to pay a lump sum for that share, they might have to make installment payments over months or years. It is critical to structure the divorce settlement […]

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