Until 2005, when the amendments to the Pennsylvania Divorce Code were enacted, the law relating to death and divorce was straightforward and simple. If one party died prior to a decree in divorce being entered (and prior to all appeals on the divorce having expired), the divorce abated and it was as though no divorce had ever been filed, as in Myers v. Myers, 580 A.2d 384 (Pa. Super. 1990). This was true even if divorce grounds had been established and even if the economic claims had been resolved by a trial court with an appeal pending. The only exception to abatement was if a case was bifurcated, with a divorce decree having been entered and ancillary economic claims having been properly preserved and raised in proceedings and still pending for resolution at the time of the death, as in Pastuszek v. Pastuszek, 499 A.2d 1069 (Pa. Super. 1985). In such a scenario, the economic claims were considered vested.
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