Can a Wife Claim Equitable Distribution of the 'Entireties' Property In a Second Divorce Action When a Divorce Decree Had Been Granted Earlier ?

In Barrett v. Barrett, 418 Pa. Super. 334, 614 A.2d 299, (Pa. Super. 1992) husband and wife were married in 1973 and owned real estate as tenants by the entireties. The parties separated in June 1977 and were divorced in September 1977 (under the Divorce Law of 1927). Mr. Barrett returned to the marital home in October 1977 and resided there continuously until Mrs. Barrett filed for divorce in 1987. The issue was whether wife could claim equitable distribution of the "entireties" property in the second divorce action. This Court ruled that wife could not, because the entireties property had been severed by the 1977 divorce decree. Only the increase in value of husband's resulting tenancy in common interest was subject to equitable distribution. 614 A.2d at 301.