Officially released March 3, 2020.
In Short: (1) clear and unambiguous contracts should be enforced as written.
The parties were divorced pursuant to separation agreement. The separation agreement provided an unallocated order of child support and alimony with three tiers of support as percentages of Husband’s gross income, which income was defined specifically and broadly.
Wife filed a PJ motion seeking payment of unallocated support owed by Husband, pursuant to the separation agreement. The trial court agreed with Husband’s interpretation, that two of the tiers applied solely to his bonus income, notwithstanding a lack of any supporting language to that effect in the separation agreement.
Both parties agreed on appeal that the language of the contract was clear and unambiguous (albeit arguing different interpretations). Applying plenary review to a clear and unambiguous contract, the Appellate Court Held that the contract was clear and unambiguous and reversed and remanded to enter orders consistent with its terms, in favor of Wife.