Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Delaware County at No. 81-17536.
John Orourke, Jr., Norristown, for appellant.
Jack A. Rounick, Norristown, for appellee.
Wickersham, Beck and Cercone, JJ.
[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 268]
This appeal presents an issue of first impression in the appellate courts of this Commonwealth: whether property held individually by one spouse prior to marriage and transferred during marriage to a tenancy by the entireties becomes marital property for purposes of equitable distribution.
The parties to this appeal were married on September 16, 1972 and separated in October, 1977. Appellee-wife filed a complaint in divorce, in response to which appellant-husband also filed a complaint in divorce. By stipulation, the
[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 269]
actions were consolidated, with husband proceeding as plaintiff. By Decree dated July 12, 1982 the parties were granted a divorce with the court reserving equitable distribution questions. A Special Master was appointed to take testimony and to make recommendations to the court below with regard to counsel fees, costs, and equitable distribution. Three hearings were held following which the Master filed his report. Exceptions were filed and, after argument, the court below entered an order dividing the principal asset consisting of a ten acre tract with two homes thereon as follows:
A. Until a sale and settlement of said property, Husband shall have the right to exclusive possession of same. Husband is required to pay the mortgage, insurance and other expenses and bring current the delinquent real estate taxes.
B. The said property shall be placed for sale at a price to be agreed upon by the parties within 45 days from the date of this Order. In the event the parties are unable to agree upon an offering price, the property shall be placed for sale at $158,000.00. Either party or a third party may purchase the property at the price agreeable to the parties, and if not so disposed of within 120 days, shall be thereafter sold at auction to the highest bidder.
C. The net proceeds from the sale shall be ...