Appeal from the Decree May 29, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County Civil Division at No.: 2009-12084
BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., OTT, J., and PLATT, J. [*]
Appellant, Robert A. Rovner, appeals from the decree granting a divorce to him and Appellee, Sherrie Raiken Savett, and incorporating by reference the parties' property settlement and pre-nuptial agreements. Appellee requests counsel fees. We affirm. We further conclude the appeal is frivolous and award counsel fees to Appellee.
The parties, both attorneys, married on May 31, 1997. Prior to the marriage, they executed a pre-nuptial agreement, dated April 13, 1997. On April 27, 2009, Appellee filed a divorce complaint. On March 14, 2011, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. The agreement provided that it, together with the parties' pre-nuptial agreement, "resolve[d] all outstanding economic issues between the parties." (Agreement, 3/14/11, at 1). The agreement provided for transfer of the marital vacation home to Appellee, and for Appellee to pay Appellant $1, 500, 000.00 "in full settlement of all marital claims." (Id.). The agreement also states:
There are no other economic or property issues in the [m]atter, and this [a]greement, and the [p]re-[n]uptial [a]greement [dated April 13, 1997] settles all marital claims between them. Neither party will pay to the other alimony, temporary alimony, spousal support, counsel fees or costs. . . .
* * *
This [a]greement and the [p]re-[n]uptial [a]greement of April 13, 1997 referenced above constitute the entire understanding and agreement of the parties. . . .
(Id. at 2-3).
Appellant then raised claims with respect to certain jewelry retained by Appellee and a referral fee Appellee allegedly owed him. On March 4, 2013, Appellee filed an affidavit pursuant to section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code. On March 20, 2013, Appellant filed a counter-affidavit indicating that he intended to pursue economic relief "which m[a]y include alimony, division of property, lawyer's fees or expenses or other important rights" by checking option "(b)" on the form. (Counter-Affidavit, 3/20/13, at unnumbered page 1). In accordance with Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1920.72(e)(2), the counter-affidavit states, in pertinent part:
I understand that in addition to checking (b) above, I must also file all of my economic claims with the Prothonotary in writing and serve them on the other party. If I fail to do so before the date set forth on the Notice of Intention to Request Divorce Decree, the divorce decree may be entered without further notice to me, and I shall be unable thereafter to file any economic claims.
(Id.) (emphasis added).
On March 28, 2013, Appellee sent Appellant notice of her intention to request entry of a divorce decree, advising that she could request the court to enter a decree on or after April 19, 2013. In accordance with Rule ...