Marital Agreement Cases

Appellate Cases involving Antenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

  • Stackhouse v. Zaretsky – Pennsylvania Superior Court discusses validity of antenuptial and postnuptial agreements and the impact upon husband and wife’s ante nuptial and post nuptial agreements.
  • Sirio v. Sirio – The PA Superior Court reviewed case involving high-income Melzer analysis for child support. PA Superior Court held that the Hearing Officer should have considered the mother’s counsel fee request 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4351 which allows awarded of counsel fees to the plaintiff in a support action. The award of counsel fees because of Father’s obdurate, vexatious or dilatory behavior pursuant to section 2503 does not prevent an award of additional counsel fees under section 4351.
  • Krebs v. Krebs – The Superior Court held that mother was entitled to retroactive modification of the child support order beyond the period that she had a petition for modification filed because father failed in his affirmative duty to report to the court his increase in earnings. The Court also explained that an award of attorney’s fees to a plaintiff in a support action may be appropriate in certain circumstances and that the court should consider (1) whether the obligor’s unreasonable or obstreperous conduct impeded the determination of an appropriate support order; (2) whether the obligor mounted a fair and reasonable defense in a child support order; (3) whether the obligor’s failure to fulfill his moral and financial obligation to support his children required legal action to force him to accept his responsibilities; and (4) whether the financial positions and financial needs of the parties are disparate.
  • Faust v. Walker – The PA Superior Court held that the domestic relations section is granted the power to issue orders to secure assets to satisfy support obligations and arrearages by intercepting or seizing judgments or settlements.
  • Annechino v. Joire – Wife claimed that since the parties’ marriage settlement agreement was not incorporated into the parties’ Divorce Decree and the pleadings did not include a count for equitable distribution, the trial court did not have the authority to enforce the Property Settlement Agreement and the husband’s only remedy is a separate civil action in equity. The Superior Court held that section 3105(a) of the Divorce Code controls which permits any agreement entered related to the divorce action to be enforced by the family courts.
  • Hopkins v. Byes – The PA Superior Court held that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion by imposing $500 attorney’s fees as a sanction for the mother’s failure to abide by a custody order, without first ascertaining mother’s ability to pay the sanction.
  • Crispo v. Crispo – Postnuptial agreements or marriage settlement agreements are continuing contract where the duties of the parties are ongoing and the statute of limitations generally does not run. Crispo v. Crispo, 2006 Pa. Super 267.

NOTE: The cases listed are for informational purposes only and may have been amended or overturned by subsequently decided court cases.