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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. LAZAROU v. LAZAROU (01/17/56)

January 17, 1956

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. LAZAROU
v.
LAZAROU, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 263, Oct. T., 1955, from order of Municipal Court of Philadelphia County, June T., 1955, No. 2310, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Rita Lazarou v. Louis Lazarou. Order affirmed, as modified.

COUNSEL

David Freeman, with him Harry A. Rutenberg, for appellant.

Anna Frank Dawson, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Ross

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 343]

OPINION BY ROSS, J.

This an appeal by Louis Lazarou from a support order entered in favor of his wife under the provisions of section 733 of the Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, 18 P.S 4733.

The parties were married in September 1952 while Louis was in medical school and his wife, Rita, was but

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 344]

    one month short of graduating from college. After her graduation, the wife obtained employment as a teacher in the Philadelphia school system and is earning about $2800. a year gross salary. From that time until the separation, she supported herself and her husband while he continued his schooling. Louis earned nothing while going to school and contributed nothing toward the maintenance expenses. The parties separated in February 1955 and have since lived apart. At the hearing held on June 8, 1955, it developed that Louis was graduating in four days and that he was then leaving to serve his internship at a California hospital where he would earn $75. a month plus room and board. After the hearing, the lower court entered an order of $100. a month and this appeal followed.

Appellant contends that (1) under the circumstances there has been no failure or neglect to support appellee, therefore, no order should have been entered, and (2) if there is basis in fact and law for some order, the present one is excessive. Initial proceedings for the support of a wife are essentially two-fold in nature: to establish in the first instance the obligation to provide support, and in the second instance, the amount which is reasonable and proper for her comfortable support and maintenance. Subsequent proceedings are generally only concerned with changes in the amount by reason of changed circumstances. See Com. ex rel. Skulsky v. Skulsky, 168 Pa. Superior Ct. 635, 82 A.2d 312.

The obligation of appellant has more than adequately been settled here. The Act provides: "If any husband ... being within the limits of this Commonwealth separates himself from his wife ... without reasonable cause, or neglects to maintain his wife ..." the court may order him, "... being of ...


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