Goodwin v. Goodwin

In Goodwin v. Goodwin, Husband challenged the trial court’s equitable distribution of the marital estate in the divorce proceedings between him and Wife. Husband and Wife were together for decades and were never previously married. Wife was Son’s biological mother, though Husband was not the biological father and did not adopt Son. Son died before the dissolution of the marriage, and Wife, who was the designated beneficiary of Son’s insurance policy, solely received the proceeds. The primary issue was Husband’s contention that the trial court erred in finding Son’s life insurance proceeds and IRA  benefits were not marital property. The Court affirmed and held that the proceeds were a gift under Section 3501(a)(3) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated. The Court noted this situation, where the son was not a child of the marriage, Husband was not named as a secondary beneficiary, and the parties’ funds were never commingled,  presented a strong case for finding that the proceeds were not marital property.

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