Pennsylvania residents who are getting divorced may face the daunting task of answering discovery: interrogatories and document requests. Some may wonder why they must produce personal information, such as checking account records that show purchases made long after a marital separation, or tax returns that include the income of a new spouse. Will the Pennsylvania […]

Can Divorced Exes Remain Partners in Business?

April 24, 2014 Complex Financial Issues

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 […]

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Too Much Sex is Grounds for Restraining Order

January 12, 2014 Court Decisions

One of the first published family law decisions this year is Boykai v. Young, 2014 PA Super 4  (January 7, 2014), a protection from abuse action arising from Bucks County. In Boykai, a husband was evicted from the marital residence and prohibited from having any contact with his wife for a period of one year, based […]

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“Excess Cash” of Professional Practice is not Marital Property in Business Valuation Divorce Case

January 1, 2014 Business Valuation

The Superior Court’s memorandum opinion in Edkin v. Edkin, No. 2017 MDA 2013 (December 23, 2013) arose from a case involving a veterinary practice in the context of divorce.  The wife in Edkin filed a divorce action in 2001. Equitable distribution hearings were held in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2009, resulting in a master’s […]

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When Should Judges Recuse Themselves in Divorce Proceedings?

December 20, 2013 Court Decisions

In a non-precedential opinion, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently considered the appeal of a husband who unsuccessfully requested a judge to recuse himself from a divorce proceeding over which he was presiding. The wife was a four-term county commissioner and Republican Party-backed candidate for statewide office, in a county that is heavily Republican. The […]

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Your Testimony in a Divorce: 10 Tips for Depositions and Trials

December 3, 2013 Divorce

A divorce might be the first time — the only time — that you will be asked to testify in a deposition or court hearing.  Your testimony will be recorded, and might be compared to the testimony of other witnesses, documentary evidence, or your own testimony at an earlier or later date. You want to […]

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En Banc: Superior Court Holds that Timing, Rather than Purpose, Determines Marital Nature of Disability Payments

November 5, 2013 Court Decisions

An en banc panel of the Superior Court last month issued an important decision on the issue of whether disability payments should be characterized as marital property in the context of a divorce. In Yuhas v. Yuhas, 2013 PA Super 283 (October 28, 2013), a surgeon underwent a carpal tunnel surgery several months prior to the […]

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Lopsided Equitable Distribution in Favor of Business Owner Vacated

November 5, 2013 Complex Financial Issues

Perhaps the recent non-precedential Superior Court opinion in Rice illustrates the hazard that is inherent when a business owner gives half of the stock and pays an equal salary to his spouse who does not actually work in the business. The Fayette County trial court in Rice v. Rice, No. 1125 WDA 2012 (October 31, […]

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Marital Settlement Agreement Contains Implied Obligations

October 1, 2013 Court Decisions

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 […]

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In-kind Distribution of Stock Disfavored by Divorce Court

September 8, 2013 Business Valuation

A decision announced recently by the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, McCulloch v. McCulloch, 69 A.3d 810, illustrates why buyouts are generally favored over in-kind distributions of stock when dividing the value of family businesses in equitable distribution proceedings. The trial court in McCulloch, faced with uncertain valuations of the businesses from both sides and […]

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