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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Cuth v. Cuth

The Pennsylvania Superior Court considered the proper way to account for a pension in a divorce and equitable distribution action. The defendant's pension did not allow for survivorship benefits to an ex-spouse. As a work-around, the trial court ordered the plaintiff to take out a life insurance policy on the…

The Pennsylvania Superior Court considered the proper way to account for a pension in a divorce and equitable distribution action. The defendant’s pension did not allow for survivorship benefits to an ex-spouse. As a work-around, the trial court ordered the plaintiff to take out a life insurance policy on the defendant and for him to… Continue reading Cuth v. Cuth

Bisbing v. Bisbing
New Jersey Appellate Division

After a divorce and child custody action, the trial court awarded attorney’s fees in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff soon thereafter filed two bankruptcy petitions. Both bankruptcy petitions were dismissed. Defendant sought an order finding the attorney’s fees to be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy as a “domestic support obligation.” The lower court agreed with the… Continue reading Bisbing v. Bisbing

More than 16 years after a judgment of divorce incorporated their marital settlement agreement, Husband filed a motion to terminate his alimony obligation, alleging Wife had either remarried or was cohabiting with a man she had been in a relationship with for at least 14 years. The trial court denied the motion, and Husband appealed,… Continue reading Temple v. Temple

Jagnow v. Jagnow
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court heard a wife’s appeal from an order that provided for the equitable distribution of marital property. Both spouses were retired teachers who, upon their retirement, elected a single life annuity that would allow greater monthly payments during their lifetime but would provide nothing after that spouse passed away. A divorce master… Continue reading Jagnow v. Jagnow

In Steele v. Steele, the New Jersey Appellate Division reviewed an appeal from the Chancery Division that enforced a marital agreement. The husband-plaintiff’s lawyer drafted a pre-marital agreement before the marriage proposal. But the plaintiff never broached the subject of the agreement with his wife until after they were married. After they wed, the wife… Continue reading Steele v. Steele

Goodwin v. Goodwin
Pennsylvania Superior Court

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… Continue reading Goodwin v. Goodwin

Ippolito v. Ippolito
New Jersey Appellate Division

Ippolito v. Ippoplito involved a dispute about an attorney’s lien asserted by one of Husband’s former attorneys on an escrow account holding the net proceeds of a sale of marital property. During the divorce proceeding, the trial court recognized Husband’s theoretical entitlement to half the marital assets, but, because Husband failed to comply with his… Continue reading Ippolito v. Ippolito

Hanrahan v. Ketch
Pennsylvania Superior Court

A husband and wife divorced and entered into a property settlement agreement that compelled the wife to make payments to the husband. But soon thereafter, she declared bankruptcy and sought to discharge her obligation to the ex-husband. In Hanrahan v. Ketch, the Pennsylvania Superior Court was asked to determine if the wife’s debt owed to… Continue reading Hanrahan v. Ketch

M.E.W. v. W.L.W.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In M.E.W. v. W.L.W., the Superior Court reversed the lower court’s order discharging the father’s child support obligation because the lower court reviewed the incapacitated adult child’s assets to downward adjust the father’s support obligation. The Court held that such a review is only appropriate when the parent’s resources are lacking, and the father was… Continue reading M.E.W. v. W.L.W.

A.L.B. v. M.D.L
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In A.L.B. v. M.D.L., the Superior Court analyzed the 16-factor test set forth in 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5328(a) in analyzing a trial court’s “drastic action,” awarding sole legal and primary physical custody of children, in a bitter and contentious divorce and child custody matter.