APPEAL FROM THE ORDER ENTERED APRIL 2, 1984, IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, FAMILY DIVISION, NO. 83-14001
Elaine Smith, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Bennett Block, Philadelphia, for appellee.
McEwen, Cercone and Trommer, JJ.*fn*
[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 455]
This is an appeal from an order of the trial court denying appellant's petition for enforcement of a foreign divorce decree. We reverse.
On February 21, 1975, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Burlington County, entered a decree divorcing appellant, Anne S. Cohen, and appellee, Gerald Cohen. The decree provided for permanent alimony payable to appellant in the amount of $30.00 per week. On February 2, 1976, appellee moved from New Jersey to Philadelphia. A year later, February 3, 1977, appellee's last payment of alimony was made. Prior to the last payment, appellee had frequently failed to make timely payments and arrearages accumulated to $11,925.00.
On September 23, 1983, pursuant to section 506 of the Divorce Code, 23 P.S. § 506, appellant filed a petition in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas for registration, adoption and enforcement of the foreign divorce decree. Appellant also sought payment of the accumulated arrearages (with interest), an attachment of appellee's
[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 456]
wages for future payments, an order for appellee to post a $50,000 bond to insure future compliance, and attorney's fees. In his answer to the petition, appellee asserted that appellant's claims were barred by the statute of limitations provided in 42 Pa.C.S.A. sections 5527(1),(6), and that section 506 of the Divorce Code did not apply to alimony decrees entered before the Code became effective in July, 1980. Appellee also cross-petitioned to have the divorce decree modified to eliminate the provision for alimony and to have the arrearages extinguished.
After argument before the trial court en banc, on April 2, 1984, appellant's petition was denied. Appellant subsequently petitioned the trial court to reconsider its order and to permit additional testimony, which were denied. This appeal from the order of April 2, 1984, timely followed.
On appeal, appellant argues that the trial court erred (1) in refusing to enforce the provisions of the New Jersey divorce decree under section 506 of the Divorce Code and (2) in holding that appellant's claim was barred by the six-year statute of limitations of 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5527. We shall address these issues seriatim.
Appellant initially claims that the trial court erred in refusing to enforce the New Jersey divorce decree under section 506 of the ...