Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pennsylvania Court Considering Posthumous Divorce

Lawyers for a slain dentist tried but failed yesterday to have his pending divorce finalized by a judge.  The case, first of its kind in Pennsylvania, centers on John Yelenic, who was attacked and killed April 13 in his Blairsville home.  Dr. Yelenic, 39, died the day before he was to sign his divorce papers and have them notarized. All five original copies of the paperwork were in his house when he was killed, said his lawyer, Effie Alexander. Common Pleas Judge Carol Hanna reviewed it but declined to grant Dr. Yelenic's divorce. She says she is not sure she has any standing in a case involving a dead man. The judge gave Ms. Alexander and her colleague, Sam Reich, two weeks to give her written arguments on why she has the power to grant a posthumous divorce.

Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article (last visited May 23, 2006 bgf)

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