No. 333 Pittsburgh 1981, APPEAL FROM THE ORDER OF MARCH 2, 1981 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, CIVIL NO. 930 OCT. TERM 1980, No. 538 Pittsburgh 1981,
John J. Dean, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Frederick N. Frank, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Cavanaugh, Rowley and Cirillo, JJ.
[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 313]
The parties were married on October 25, 1959 and lived together until a domestic dispute arose in June, 1975. The husband filed a divorce action on September 3, 1980, alleging that the marriage was irretrievably broken,*fn1 and requesting equitable distribution of marital property as well as counsel fees. The wife filed an Answer and New Matter averring, inter alia, that the Divorce Code was constitutionally defective. She also entered a counterclaim for alimony, alimony pendente lite, counsel fees and maintenance of insurance policies.
A hearing was held on March 2, 1981, at which time the court found the marriage to be irretrievably broken. The court did not adjudicate the New Matter or property rights at that time. On March 3, 1981 the wife appealed at No. 333 Pittsburgh, 1981.
Subsequently, the lower court signed a series of Orders, dated March 2, 1981, which stated that the court would not adjudicate the New Matter, would enter a bifurcated divorce and a decree of divorce dissolving the marriage. These orders were then docketed with the prothonotary and on May 15, 1981 the wife appealed at No. 538 Pittsburgh, 1981.
Initially, we are compelled to address the issue of the propriety of severing economic claims from divorce claims in this matter. The New Divorce Code provides in pertinent part:
[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 314]
. . . In the event that the court is unable for any reason to determine and dispose of the matters provided for in this subsection within 30 days after the master's report has been filed, it may enter a decree of divorce or annulment . . .
Act of April 2, 1980, P.L. 63, No. 26, § 401, 23 P.S. § 401(b). Similarly, the Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure concerning court hearings in divorce or annulment actions states:
(c) The court need not determine all claims at one time but may enter a decree adjudicating a ...