KATHY M. CARNEY
DONALD R. CARNEY Appellant
from the Decree July 1, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of
Monroe County Domestic Relations at No(s): No. 793DR10
BEFORE: PANELLA, J., LAZARUS, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.
the second appeal to this Court in the divorce proceedings of
Appellant Donald R. Carney ("Husband") and Appellee
Kathy M. Carney ("Wife"). After remand, Husband
again appeals the trial court's order of equitable
distribution, arguing inter alia, that the trial
court abused its discretion in valuing the business Husband
established during the parties' marriage and in modifying
Wife's alimony pendente lite ("APL")
award. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
parties married on April 3, 1986; after twenty-three years of
marriage, the parties separated on February 5, 2010. No
children were born of the marriage. During the marriage,
Husband founded Brothers Auto Transport
("Brothers"), a company that picks up new and used
vehicles and transports them throughout the country. As of
the date of the parties' separation, Brothers was a
thriving business with average gross sales of approximately
$9 million each year and a fleet of forty trucks.
point, Wife worked at Brothers, assisting with administrative
tasks. Wife's highest level of education was finishing
eleventh grade. Wife no longer works due to health problems,
including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Raynaud's
Syndrome, which affects her hands. Wife is responsible for
the care of her elderly mother and her intellectually
disabled brother. Following the parties' separation,
Husband was required to pay Wife $4, 942.00 each month in APL
and also pay for her health insurance.
equitable distribution proceedings of the divorce litigation,
the key disputed issue was the valuation of the trucking
business. Each party retained two separate experts: 1) an
asset valuation expert to value Brothers' trucks,
trailers, and other tangible property, and 2) a business
valuation expert to calculate the overall value of the
business itself. We note the parties also offered revised
valuations of Brothers' assets and its overall
value. Husband's experts employed an
income-based approach and valued Brothers at $1, 000, 000.00.
Wife's experts employed an asset-based approach and
valued Brothers at $1, 978, 328.00. On June 20, 2012, the
Divorce Master issued a report and recommendation, finding
Wife's valuation experts to be credible and Wife's
proposed valuation for Brothers to be most reliable. However,
the Master never explicitly stated in his report the specific
value he adopted for Brothers.
filed exceptions to the Master's determination regarding
the valuation of Brothers. The trial court adopted the
Master's recommendation to use Wife's proposed value
for Brothers, but did not explicitly value the business in
its discussion of this specific issue. However, in its
decision, the trial court later indicates that it valued
Brothers at $3, 336, 134. On February 15, 2013, the trial
court entered a final divorce decree that incorporated the
appeal, this Court found the trial court's valuation of
Brothers was "wholly unsupported by the record" as
that specific figure was never offered by Wife's expert
as a proposed value for Brothers, but instead was a proposed
valuation of the truck fleet that did not account for the
company's liabilities and obligations. Carney v.
Carney, 843 EDA 2013, at *6 (Pa.Super. November 19,
2013) (unpublished memorandum). Moreover, Wife had withdrawn
that figure from consideration after retaining her asset
valuation expert and submitting revised valuations. As a
result, this Court found that the trial court had abused its
discretion in valuing Brothers, which in turn, affected the
overall equitable distribution award. Thus, this Court
remanded the case, directing the trial court to revisit the
issue of Brothers' valuation and reconsider the entire
equitable distribution award in light of this new value.
remand, the parties stipulated that the trial court could
evaluate all equitable distribution issues based upon
testimony and evidence presented at the previous evidentiary
hearings. In addition, Wife filed a petition to modify her
APL award. On January 25, 2016, the trial court held a
hearing to allow the parties to introduce additional evidence
to supplement the record.
1, 2016, the trial court entered an order and opinion setting
forth its equitable distribution award that divided the
marital estate in a 50/50 ratio. The trial court found
Wife's valuation experts most credible and adopted their
valuation of Brothers at $1, 978, 328.00. To avoid the
liquidation of Brothers, the trial court distributed the auto
carrier business solely to Husband. To equalize this
distribution, the trial court awarded the marital residence
(valued at $100, 400.00) and the marital 401(k) account (valued
at $331, 620.00) to Wife and ordered Husband to pay Wife $6,
761.95 each month, interest free, for ten years. The trial
court also divided less valuable assets among the parties.
Moreover, the trial court granted Wife's petition to
modify APL and increased her award to $12, 000 each month.
Husband filed a timely appeal and a concise statement of
errors complained of on appeal.
Husband raises the following issues for our review:
1. Did the lower court commit an error of law and/or abuse
its discretion by accepting Wife's expert's
"calculated value" of the marital business which
relied upon an adjusted asset approach rather than a fair
market value which considers the ongoing concern of the
2. Did the trial court commit an error of law and/or abuse
its discretion in failing to tax effect the value of the
3. Did the trial court commit an error of law and/or abuse
its discretion by entering an equitable distribution award
calculated upon an improper value of the marital business?
4. Did the trial court commit an error of law and/or abuse
its discretion by awarding alimony pendente lite to Wife
based upon Husband's post-separation income ...