James Neumann Lafferty, Philadelphia, for appellant.
J. Leon Rabben, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Gunther and Wright, JJ.
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 536]
This is the second time we consider the matter of support of Winifred Groff by her father, John Russell Groff, appellant herein. The matter was originally brought to our attention when the Domestic Relations Division of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia refused, on June 21, 1950, appellant's petition to vacate an order of support made on him in 1948. We affirmed at Com. ex rel. Nicholson v. Groff, 169 Pa. Super. 12, 82 A.2d 536. On December 29, 1952 the lower court again refused appellant's petition to vacate but granted him a reduction of the order from $30 to $20 a week. From this refusal to vacate the father has again appealed to this Court.
Appellant and Winifred Groff, mother of the daughter Winifred, are divorced. The daughter lives with her mother in a home in Philadelphia maintained by the maternal grandfather, William R. Nicholson, at a cost to him of about $2,500 a year. When our previous decision was filed, the girl was 20 years old. At the date of this writing she is 22.
Evidence upon which we based affirmance of the earlier order indicated that the daughter was unemployable, not because of ill health or physical incapacity, but because, according to the expert who examined her and the record of her employment at various business establishments, she was psychologically unfitted to adjust herself, had no desire to work, and was incapable of facing reality, with the result that she drifted from one job to another, only to be dismissed eventually for incompetence.
In the present petition appellant avers that since his daughter has attained her majority and during the
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 537]
preceding year was employed in five or fix jobs for which she received compensation in the amount of $600, and at the time of the hearing was learning to operate an I.B.M. machine at a salary of $38 a week, she is capable of self-support. Although it does not appear of record, it is admitted that between the hearing and the argument on appeal she lost the last position also.
The fact that the daughter has reached the age of 21 is not of itself sufficient to justify revocation of an order for her support. Com. ex rel. O'Malley v. O'Malley, 105 Pa. Super. 232, 161 A. 883. The test is whether she is physically and mentally able to engage in profitable employment and whether employment is available to her at a supporting wage. Com. v. Gilmore, 97 Pa. Super. 303, 304.
The girl testified that she left one position 'just about the time I was going to be fired', that she thought she was being retained in the job she then had because of the difficulty experienced by the company to obtain employes to do the particular type of work, that during the preceding year her jobs had lasted 'just weeks at a time', that out of the money she had saved she purchased a car for $375 and then a motorcycle for $200, both of which had been wrecked; that she was paying for maintenance of a Great Dane dog, a parrot and fish. James J. O'Kane, assistant personnel manager of an engineering corporation, testified that Winifred had been employed with his firm from July to September 1952 and was dismissed because 'she wandered away from the job incessantly and she had been warned several times. Her conduct was poor and the quality was poor.' Comparing this testimony ...