Marital Property

In an unpublished decision, the Superior Court has considered the plight of a spouse who entered into a marital settlement agreement thinking that her husband would pursue a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 […]

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

June 20, 2013 Complex Financial Issues

A recent unpublished decision of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania confirms that oil and gas rights, not disclosed in the discovery or inventories of the divorcing spouses,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 […]

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Protecting Assets in Divorce

December 9, 2012 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. […]

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Tracing Nonmarital Property

December 12, 2011 Court Decisions

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 […]

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

December 5, 2011 Court Decisions

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 […]

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Double Dip and Goodwill Considered by Wisconsin Supreme Court

August 15, 2011 Alimony

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 […]

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5 Settlement Documents that Divorcing Business Owners Must Have

June 8, 2011 Business Valuation

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 […]

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Iowa Rejects Rule of Thumb Business Valuation in Divorce

February 11, 2011 Business Valuation

A recent decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals illustrates the perils of reliance upon industry rules of thumb to value a business in matrimonial litigation. In Marriage of Hagar (11/24/2010), husband and wife purchased a dry cleaning business from a trust established by husband’s parents as part of a business succession plan. Husband and […]

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Divorce and Guns – Can They Backfire?

January 28, 2011 Court Decisions

If you are facing marital separation or divorce, consider whether to store the guns in a locker at a sporting club or a gun dealer, away from the marital residence.

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Entrepreneurs at Greater Risk of Divorce?

January 3, 2011 Business Valuation

The holidays have given me some time to catch up on my overdue reading list. One article I recently caught was Inc. Magazine’s November 2010 article on entrepreneurs who divorce. Business owners may be at greater risk of divorce, the article suggests, because of the time and emotional investment that a fledgling business requires, the […]

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