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BUSWELL v. BUSWELL (06/04/54)

June 4, 1954

BUSWELL
v.
BUSWELL, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 20, Jan. T., 1954, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, June T., 1951, in Equity, No. 820, in case of Lucinda D. Buswell v. Robert R. Buswell. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Joseph D. Calhoun, for appellant.

C. William Kraft, Jr., for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 377 Pa. Page 488]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

On May 18, 1940, Lucinda D. Buswell and Robert R. Buswell entered the holy bonds of matrimony. Less than four years later they shook off the bonds. In the meantime, two children had been born to the union, and, in anticipation of the contemplated divorce, the parents entered into an oral agreement which was later incorporated by the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois, where the parties were living at the time, into the divorce decree handed down on April 21, 1944.

The agreement provided, inter alia, that Robert Buswell would pay to Lucinda Buswell as alimony $125.00 for the period from April 21, 1944 to June 1, 1944, and she would be barred from further alimony; that Robert would pay Lucinda $30.00 per month for each of the children until further order of the Court; that Robert would have certain visiting rights with his children; that he would also pay for reasonably necessary extraordinary medical and dental bills for the children; and that he would maintain unencumbered $8,500 insurance on his life, with the children as irrevocable beneficiaries.

Following the entry of the divorce decree, Robert agreed to send to Lucinda every two months a $25.00 United States War Bond, the beneficiary alternating between the two children. This agreement was appended

[ 377 Pa. Page 489]

    to the divorce decree by the Cook County Court as a supplemental decree on August 1, 1945.

On July 20, 1951, the parties having in the meantime moved to Pennsylvania (Robert to Montgomery County and Lucinda to Delaware County), Lucinda filed a Complaint in Equity in Delaware County, charging her former husband with failure to maintain his promises which had been solemnized by the divorce and supplemental decree. Specifically Lucinda charged that Robert had violated the integrity of the $8500 insurance by borrowing $1,000 on the policies and by displacing the two children-beneficiaries (to the amount of $6500) by substituting in their place his second wife; that he neglected to make the monthly $30 payments agreed upon for the support of the children; that he did not meet the medical and dental bills incurred for the children; and that he had not delivered war bonds as promised, 34 now being due.

After Answer filed and New Matter having been replied to by the plaintiff, a hearing was held and the Chancellor entered a decree nisi which ordered the defendant to pay to his former wife $420 for past due support, $209 for medical and dental bills, and $281.25 for war bonds due up to the time of the hearing; that he was to rehabilitate the $8500 insurance policies so that they would give to the children the protection originally intended and agreed upon; and that he would purchase and deliver United States war bonds in accordance with the stipulation recorded in the supplemental Illinois decree. With the exception of the $209 medical ...


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