Appeal from the Order Entered December 8, 1987 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil No. 3124 November 1980.
Paul J. Downey, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Cirillo, President Judge, and Watkins and Cercone, JJ.
[ 378 Pa. Super. Page 92]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County denying appellant Patricia Jawork's (now Patricia Eisele) petition for special relief*fn1 in connection with the divorce action between her and her husband, Paul Jawork. We reverse.
In December of 1981, the trial court entered a decree of divorce, reserving jurisdiction "to dispose of ancillary matters properly raised by the parties heretofore." Among these matters was Mrs. Jawork's claim for equitable distribution. At the time of the entry of this decree the parties owned real estate on Rising Sun Avenue which was held by the entireties. Pursuant to a settlement later negotiated between the parties, Mr. Jawork agreed to transfer his interest in the property to Mrs. Eisele. On July 23, 1986, the trial court entered an order awarding the marital residence to Mrs. Eisele in full and final settlement of all economic claims presented by her in the divorce action and marking the matter "settled, discontinued and ended."
The problem which was the subject of Mrs. Eisele's August 4, 1986 petition for special relief arose at the June 27, 1986 settlement of the sale of the Rising Sun property by her to a third party. The title report revealed that a lien in favor of her ex-husband's attorneys had been filed against the title in October of 1985. Upon Mrs. Eisele's protest, the amount of the lien was escrowed. Mrs. Eisele then petitioned the court, pursuant to section 403(d) of the Divorce Code,*fn2 to have the lien declared null and void. The trial court refused to do so and this appeal followed.
[ 378 Pa. Super. Page 93]
Appellant urges us to find that, where economic claims involving marital property held by the entireties are bifurcated from the entry of the decree, the effect of 68 P.S. § 501*fn3 is somehow stayed pending resolution of those claims and the relinquishment of jurisdiction over the marital property, thus making the denial of her petition improper.*fn4 As both parties to this appeal concede, by operation of law, a tenancy by the entireties becomes a tenancy in common upon the divorce of the parties. 68 P.S. § 501. Further, bifurcation of a divorce action is permitted pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1920.52(c)*fn5 which allows the court to separate the granting of the divorce from resolution of the economic claims. 23 P.S. 401(b); Fried v. Fried, 509 Pa. 89, 501 A.2d 211 (1985). Thus, the status of the title after the entry of the decree is unassailable, as is the court's power
[ 378 Pa. Super. Page 94]
to bifurcate a divorce action. It is the interaction between the two that appellant questions.
The attorney/creditor, who filed an amicus brief in this matter, suggests that the Divorce Code did not repeal by implication the Act of 1949, as amended, found at 68 P.S. § 501.*fn6 We see no issue of repeal by implication as the two statutes in question do not deal with the same subject matter, Kelly v. City of Philadelphia, 382 Pa. 459, 115 A.2d 238 (1955). Even if this hurdle could be overcome, there is no "irreconcilable conflict" between the two. Kelly, supra, 382 Pa. at 472, 115 A.2d at 244. The Act of ...