As discussed in Part I of this blog series, in PA the statute of limitations generally precludes an aggrieved party from filing suit for enforcement of a Marriage Settlement Agreement (MSA) if not commenced within the statutes 4-year limitation period. An exception exists, however, when the contract is a “continuing contract.” A contract is “continuing” when 1.) There are no deadlines by which payments have to be made; 2.) No specific start date and/or end date when payments are to stop; and 3.) No specific amount owed is identified.
When a contract is continuing, the statute of limitations will run either from the time when the breach occurred or when the contract is in some way terminated. Thus in Pennsylvania a continuing contract “tolls” the 4-year statute of limitations, providing an aggrieved party a longer timeline to sue for damages. The Court will look to the MSA’s wording to decide if it should be considered a continuing contract.
Thus the wording and terms in your MSA are imperative to ensure that your interests are protected, both now and in the years to come. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney BEFORE signing any Marriage Settlement Agreement. Give us a call today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced Pittsburgh family law attorneys!