Published on:

Court Reviews Stipulations Made in Divorce Decree


This matter deals with the estate of Michael Pavese who is deceased. A New York Probate Lawyer said the main issue before the court is whether or not the stipulations that were made with his spouse Barbara Pavese during their divorce action are valid and enforceable. Barbara Pavese has petitioned for a determination that the stipulations of the divorce agreement be declared as void and ineffective and that all the funds that are held in specific United States Treasury Accounts be released to her immediately as the joint tenant with the right to survivorship or in the alternative that at least half of the funds be released to her immediately.

Case Facts

Barbara and Michael Pavese were married in April of 1981. In May of 2001, Michael Pavese moved out of the marital home located in Lloyd Harbor, New York, in Suffolk County. Michael moved in with his brother Peter in Massapequa, New York, in Nassau County.

In June of 2001, Michael Pavese began a divorce action against Barbara Pavese. There were three stipulations of the divorce with the last one being dated the 7th of August, 2001. When the couple separated they had over $10,000,000 in a direct account with the United States Treasury. This money was invested in a number of United States Treasury bills. The ownership was right of survivorship.

The first stipulation of the divorce agreed that $1,500,000 of the marital assets would be released to each of them. Another stipulation made on the 2nd of August provided that another $1,000,000 of the marital assets is paid to each after Michael Pavese was paid for his half of the marital residence. The final stipulation ordered that a further distribution of marital assets from the Treasury direct account in the sum of $1,750,000 for each of them.

Case Discussion

In August of 2001, Michael Pavese died. He was living with his brother Peter Pavese at the time. Peter Pavese offered Michael’s will for probate. Barbara Pavese has filed objections to the offered will and discovery has begun in the probate proceeding.

The account statements have been offered as exhibit A in this petition. The balance of the account shows $8,570,000 on the 3rd of August, 2001. The balance as of September 9th, 2001 was $5,570,000. From the records it appears that none of the funds of the account have been distributed to the decedent, the representatives of his estate, or to Barbara Pavese. Brooklyn Probate Lawyers said this account is restrained until the validity of the stipulations of the divorce action can be determined.

The court must determine whether the agreements that were entered into between the decedent and his spouse during their divorce are in fact valid and enforceable or if they simply died along with the decedent.

Case Decision

The court has reviewed the stipulations made in the divorce decree and finds that they are in fact valid. The balance of the account should be distributed equally among the petitioner and the estate of Michael Pavese. Bronx Probate Lawyers said the request made by Barbara Pavese for alternate relief has merit since under the agreement she is entitled to half of the funds in the treasury direct account. The amount of $1,750,000 should be paid within ten days of this decision. The rest of her remaining half share of the account, minus the credit to the estate for the share of equity in the marital home should be provided to her promptly.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers free consultations at all of our offices located in New York City. First time clients may come in and discuss their case with an experienced New York attorney. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

Contact Information