No. 01467 Pittsburgh 1983, Appeal from the Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Beaver County, No. 126 of 1982.
Gretchen S. Reed, Beaver, for appellant.
Robert W. Lewis, Jr., Ambridge, for appellee.
Cirillo, Tamilia and Montgomery, JJ.
[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 315]
This is an appeal from a declaratory judgment that an agreement entered into by the parties on August 27, 1979, is a valid post-nuptial agreement and bars appellant's claim for equitable distribution of marital property in the instant divorce action. We agree with the court below and therefore affirm.
Robert and Lois Wolfe were married on March 15, 1954. They have three children, all of whom are now adults. In 1968, Robert quit his employment with Halstead Engineers to start his own business, Pittsburgh Tubular Shaft Company, Inc. For most of the marriage, Lois remained at home raising the children. In 1974 or 1975, Lois sought and obtained employment as a secretary. In 1979, marital problems arose which ultimately resulted in Lois leaving the marital home in August of that year. The parties discussed, and ultimately reduced to writing, an agreement under which Robert would pay Lois $25,000 and Lois would execute a deed vesting title to the marital residence in Robert. Robert would also assume custody and sole economic responsibility for the children. Lois would also receive certain personal property.
[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 316]
Robert obtained counsel to draft the agreement. Discussions were held and revisions made before the agreement was reduced to final form by Robert's counsel. Attached to the agreement was a net worth statement prepared by Robert listing his assets. Robert gave a copy of the final agreement to Lois and advised her to review it with her own attorney. A few days later, Robert's attorney also advised Lois to seek counsel to review the agreement before she signed. Lois declined their advice and signed the agreement on August 29, 1979. Shortly, thereafter, Lois left the marital home.
After the separation, the parties saw each other on a social basis until February 1981, going out to dinner and to plays and occasionally engaging in sexual intercourse. The relationship ended when Robert began to see another woman. On March 18, 1982, Robert filed for divorce. Lois filed an answer and counterclaim alleging that the agreement was invalid and requesting equitable distribution, alimony, counsel fees and costs. The parties requested a declaratory judgment pursuant to Pa.R.Civ.P. 1602. The Honorable Joseph S. Walko concluded that the agreement was valid and precluded the claim for equitable distribution.*fn1 This appeal followed.
Appellant's arguments on appeal are intertwined. First, she claims that the agreement is not a "complete" property settlement agreement because she received only one-half of the parties jointly-owned properties and none of the property owned solely by her husband. She also contends that, since the Divorce Code of 1980, 23 P.S. § 101 et seq., defines marital property so as to include property held in the name of one spouse as long as such property was
[ 341 Pa. Super. Page 317]
acquired during the marriage, she is entitled to equitable ...