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COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HOFFMAN v. HOFFMAN. (11/12/57)

November 12, 1957

COMMONWEALTH EX REL. HOFFMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
HOFFMAN.



Appeal, No. 331, Oct. T., 1957, from order of Municipal Court, Dec. T., 1954, No. 4536, Domestic Relations Division, No. 190369, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Sophie Hoffman v. Joseph Hoffman. Order modified.

COUNSEL

Virginia Funk, with her Michael Edelman, for appellant.

Paul M. Goldstein, with him Herman Moskowitz and Stark and Goldstein, for appellee.

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

Author: Woodside

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 501]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

The Municipal Court of Philadelphia entered an order of $35 per week against the defendant for the support of his wife and child. The wife appealed on the ground that the court below abused its discretion by entering an order which is too low.

The original order was entered December 8, 1954, in the amount of $85 per week. Although entered as a "temporary" order, it remained at this amount until March 26, 1957, when, upon defendant's motion, it was reduced to $60 per week. On April 4th, it was raised to $70 per week, and on May 7th, reduced to $35 per week. Still being carried as a "temporary" order, on June 4th, it was entered as a permanent order at the request of the wife.

The court was correct in making the order permanent when the wife requested it. A support order is never permanent in the sense that it cannot be modified upon the showing of changed conditions, but it would be improper for a court to make "temporary"

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 502]

    orders over a long period of time, thereby defeating the right of appeal.

It is to be noted that during the period between March 18th and May 13th, the defendant was ordered to pay $85, $60, $70 and $35 - four different weekly sums in an 8 week period. Although support orders must be geared to the present, and circumstances occasionally justify frequent changes in the amount of the order, nevertheless, we question the advisability of changing an order as frequently as this one was changed within a two month period.

We think the court below took too limited a view of this case. The defendant contends that he is without property or income because he is unemployed, and because both he and the ...


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