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Recent Posts in Equitable Distribution Category

Are post-separation disability payments "marital", under Pennsylvania law?

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently dealt with the question of whether post-separation disability payments are marital. In Yuhas v. Yuhas, the husband was a vascular surgeon who developed carpal ...
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Enforcing a settlement agreement 7 years after the violation

Husband and Wife married back in 1988 and were divorced in 2003. As part of their divorce settlement, Husband agreed to pay Wife a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of stock from his business, ...
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Inherited IRA's and bankruptcy

Retirement funds such as 401K's, IRAs and 403b accounts are generally protected in bankruptcy. That is, retirement accounts are not reachable by creditors but instead remain with the holder, even ...
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Taxes and military pensions in a divorce

In previous blog posts, we discussed the difficulties in dividing a military pension in a divorce. It can be done, but it needs to done carefully and with full knowledge of the process. In fact, no ...
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What is a bifurcated divorce?

What is a bifurcated divorce? A bifurcated divorce is a process where the divorce decree is granted before the economic issues associated with the divorce are resolved. Regular or simple divorce cases ...
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Prenuptial Agreement: Why you need one

You are not getting married with the intention of getting divorced. But almost half of marriages end in divorce. There are many things you can do to keep a marriage strong. But there is only thing you ...
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Planning for Divorce: The Ultimate Guide

It looks like you are getting divorced. What to do? This i a general guide with steps that are generally advisable. However, this information is just a starting guide. Every case is different, so ...
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Post high-school education expenses

Ordinarily, a divorcing parent has no legal obligation to pay for a child's college expenses. The theory is that we don't require intact families to pay for college, so how can we require ...
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Case Notes: Fraud and divorce - opening the divorce after the fact.

In the Allegheny County case of Kozel v. Kozel, 161 Pa Super 2014, the parties divorce was finalized in 2005. Later, Wife found out that Husband failed to disclose certain assets at the time of the ...
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Know your judge: Eleanor Bush

Eleanor Bush is a judge with the Family Division of the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas. Judge Bush has judicial suffix 001. If your case number ends with "001", you have Judge Bush. Judge ...
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Dividing a military pension (Part 3: Important issues)

The first part of this series dealt with preparation for dividing a military pension for a divorce. The second part of th is series dealt with the division of the military pension. This post will ...
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Dividing military retirement benefits in divorce (Part 2: Dividing the pension)

Part 1 of this series explored how to find the necessary documentation, rules and system to divide military pay in a divorce. This part will briefly detail the process of dividing a military pension ...
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Dividing military retirement benefits in divorce (Part 1: The first three steps)

Dividing military retirement benefits is one of the trickiest elements of a divorce. In my experience, attorneys often will simply avoid the possibility of messing up the division of military ...
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New IRA rollover rules from the IRS

A recent tax court decision changes the ways IRA rollovers will be taxed. For many years, the IRS has permitted IRAs to be rolled over, without tax consequences, under the following two conditions: 1. ...
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Death and divorce

Have you ever noticed how many bad things in life are described by words starting with the letter "d"? Despair, doom, defeat, drowning, defenestration etc. "Death" and ...
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Divorce and 529 College Savings Accounts

Parents have 4 primary options to accumulate college savings. This post will discuss one of those options ("529" accounts) and what to expect from the 529 accounts if the parties divorce. ...
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Case Notes: Divorce and death

In the case of Tosi v. Kizis, 16 Pa. Super 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court determined that Wife could discontinue the parties divorce action after Husband died while awaiting the divorce trial. ...
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Case Notes: Frozen Embryos as Marital Property

In Reber v. Reiss, 42 A.3d 1131 (Pa. Super. 2012), the Pennsylvania Superior Court dealt with a question of first impression: what should happen to fertilized, frozen embryos at divorce? May Wife ...
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Case Notes: Personal Injury Claims as Marital Property?

When is a personal injury claim marital property subject to equitable distribution? Ordinarily, property acquired between the date of marriage and date of separation is marital. But what about a ...
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Case Notes: Counsel Fees

We often get questions about counsel fees. Can I make the other side pay my fees? When does the court order counsel fees? What if the other side has racked up excessive counsel fees? In Morgans v. ...
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Case Notes: Business interests and Equitable Distribution

Valuing assets can be extremely complicated. It takes a lot of experience to determine the type of evidence that is necessary to prove the value of an asset. The courts are often faced with the ...
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Case Notes: VA benefits as marital property

Under Pennsylvania law, certain things are exempt from being considered "marital property," and are, therefore, not subject to distribution upon divorce. However, the increase in value of ...
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Allegheny County Clarifies Some Divorce Procedures

Court procedures are complicated even for those who practice law. Allegheny County has clarified a few procedural issues. 1. Filing an Inventory and Obtaining a Rule In order to move your divorce ...
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Local Case Notes: Alimony, E.D.& counsel fees

In the local Allegheny County PA case of Casper v. Casper, Judge Marmo issued a decision concerning parties who had married in 1985 and separted in 2008, with two grown children. Husband worked at an ...
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Case Notes: Money from will contest is not marital

Ordinarily, money received by inheritance is not marital. 23 Pa.CSA 3501 defines marital property. 3501 also lists various types of property that are not marital. Non-marital property includes ...
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