John Patrick Walsh, Leon Rosenfield, Philadelphia, for appellant.
J. Dennis Sheedy, David H. Roberts, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Hirt, Acting P. J., and Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, Jj.
[ 175 Pa. Super. Page 542]
This comes before us on appeal from the Municipal Court of Philadelphia reducing an order of support from $90 per week to $75 per week. The original order was made by the late Judge Linton October 30, 1951, for the support of the relatrix and two minor children. No appeal was taken from this order.
October 17, 1952 defendant filed a petition to reduce the order; March 11, 1953 relatrix filed a petition to increase; and August 10, 1953, defendant filed a subsequent petition to reduce. After hearing, President Judge Hazel Brown dismissed the petition to increase the order, and acting upon the petition to decrease, reduced the order from $90 to $75 a week. She was in the unfortunate position of having no way of knowing how the late Judge Linton evaluated the testimony taken when the original order was made.
Prior to their separation on July 10, 1951, the defendant was employed in his father's drug store as a registered pharmacist and in a physician's supply business in which he was manager and principal salesman. This business was in the defendant's name but the defendant and his father claim it was the father's business.
The parties lived well. They lived in a nice home in a pleasant neighborhood; had horses and the use of automobiles. The daughter went to private school. The defendant had a substantial sum in cash and securities. The exact salary he received is difficult to determine but it appears that his gross salary was close to $300 per week, made up of $100 a week in cash for household expenses, $100 a week by check for the purpose of investing in securities, $40 in cash for personal use, the payment
[ 175 Pa. Super. Page 543]
of all income, wage and other taxes imposed on the above, and the payment of certain other expenses.
Upon the separation of the parties the defendant, although admitting liability for the support of both wife and children, made every effort to avoid the payment of a just sum by divesting himself of both income and assets. Defendant's father joined him in a brazen and disgusting series of maneuvers to minimize the amount of money the relatrix and the children could be awarded. The father 'fired' the defendant from the business, which is operated under defendant's name, and rehired him at $100 per week instead of the approximate $300 a week he had previously been receiving.
Every effort was also made to substantially reduce the defendant's assets. The money which the father 'paid' or 'gave' to the defendant was returned to the father. Just before the separation of the parties a $20,000 mortgage was placed by the defendant on the home in which the parties lived. After an action brought by relatrix alleging fraud the mortgage was satisfied. The effort to defeat the rights of the relatrix, and ...