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Simeone v. Simeone

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
581 A.2d 162 (1990)


Facts

Following a period of separation between 1982 and 1984, Catherine Simeone (plaintiff), née Walsh, and her husband, Frederick Simeone (defendant) commenced divorce proceedings. In the course of those proceedings, Catherine sought alimony, which Frederick opposed in light of a prenuptial agreement that Catherine had signed on the eve of their wedding. The prenuptial agreement had been presented to Catherine at 5 p.m. the night before the wedding and she signed the agreement at that time without seeking the advice of counsel. Testimony at trial indicated that she and Frederick had discussed the contents of the agreement over a period of six months prior to the wedding, and Frederick's attorney who drafted the agreement and witnessed its execution testified that Catherine signed the agreement willingly. Catherine did not seek the advice of counsel during the six-month period preceding the wedding. The prenuptial agreement provided that in the event of a separation or divorce, Catherine would be entitled to receive a maximum of $25,000 from Frederick. Frederick claimed that he had made payments to Catherine during their separation and the maximum set out in the prenuptial agreement had been reached. The prenuptial agreement was upheld by the master, and affirmed on appeal to the intermediate appellate court. Catherine then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Flaherty, J.)

Concurrence (Papadakos, J.)

Dissent (McDermott, J.)

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