Appeal from Order of Superior Court entered February 26, 1986, at No. 417 Pittsburgh 1985 quashing Appeal from Order of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County Entered February 27, 1985, at No. 11358 of 1980. 355 Pa. Super. 641, 509 A.2d 1326 (1986).
David L. Robinson, Fisher, Long & Rigone, Greensburg, for appellant.
Harvey A. Zalevsky, Greensburg, for appellee.
Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ. Hutchinson, former J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Zappala, J., files a dissenting opinion.
Appellee, Deanna Della Vedova Wall, filed a Complaint in Divorce under section 201(d) of the 1980 Divorce Code*fn1 ("Code"), 23 P.S. § 201(d), seeking a termination of the marital relationship as well as property distribution, alimony, attorney's fees and costs. Appellant, L. Stanley Wall, filed an answer in which he asserted that a marital relationship had never existed between the parties and moved for the dismissal of the complaint. After a full evidentiary hearing on the question as to the existence of a valid marriage, the court found that a valid common-law marriage did exist between appellant and appellee. This finding was affirmed by the court en banc. Appellant proceeded
to appeal the finding of the existence of a valid marriage to the Superior Court. The Superior Court determined that, since there had not been an entry of a decree in divorce, the ruling appealed from was an interlocutory one, and quashed the appeal, 509 A.2d 1326. The single question before this Court in this matter is whether the Superior Court was correct in its determination that the appeal to them was premature. We granted review to respond to that question, and for the reasons that follow conclude that the order of the Superior Court should be affirmed.
The basic argument of appellant is predicated upon the ground that section 206 of the Code, 23 P.S. § 206, provides for a declaratory judgment concerning the validity of a marriage.
§ 206. Proceedings to determine marital status
When the validity of any marriage shall be denied or doubted, either or both of the parties to the marriage may bring an action for a declaratory judgment seeking a declaration of the validity or invalidity of the marriage, and, upon due proof of the validity or invalidity thereof, it shall be declared valid or invalid by decree of such court, and ...