Appeal, No. 38, Oct. T., 1958, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace of Delaware County, June T., 1957, No. F-3-13, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. Ruth Zehring v. John Zehring. Judgment affirmed.
Henry N. Fineman, with him Morris Passon, for appellant.
George V. Famiglio, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.
[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 395]
This appeal involves the propriety of increasing a support order for the support of a wife and two minor children. At the first hearing the court below entered a support order of $60.00 per week, being $30.00 for the support of the wife and $15.00 each for the support of two minor children then of the ages of nine and four respectively. On March 15, 1957, at the time the original order was entered, and for a couple of months thereafter, the appellant, John Zehring, also paid the mortgage on the family home, telephone, water, gas and electric bills. In June of the same year, appellant left the common abode and thereafter discontinued all payments except the support order as entered.
In July, 1957, the wife relatrix filed a petition to increase the original order alleging, inter alia, that appellant had ceased to make the various monthly payments for utilities and mortgage payments and asked that by reason of this nonpayment, the original support order be increased. Testimony was taken, and at the conclusion of the hearing, the court below increased the order of support from $60.00 per week to $90.00 per week, being $50.00 for the support of the wife and $20.00 each for the two children.
The wife testified that in June, 1957, the husband left the common home. Prior to leaving, he paid the monthly mortgage installments of $92.00 on a jointly owned home, certain items of utility and services, which payments averaged approximately $163.00 per month. She further stated that after the departure of the husband, her mother came to live with her and paid $5.00 per week to defray her living expenses. She was compelled to seek part-time employment which grossed her about $25.00 per week and, during the period of her absence, her mother helped out with the children.
[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 396]
Shortly after the departure of the husband, a representative of the gas and electric companies came to the home to turn off the services for non-payment of bills; that the water company threatened to shut off the water supply; that the telephone had been removed from the home, and that the mortgage was three months in arrears and the mortgagee had sent out a notice of foreclosure. In addition, payment of premiums for hospitalization benefits were terminated. These were not denied by the husband.
The husband testified to a drop in his income owing to the loss of clients in his profession as a public accountant and auditor. He produced a statement showing an average profit per week after taxes of $126.22 for 1956, and of $116.22 for the seven months ending July 31, 1957. Both of these averages, however, were arrived at by deducting sizable amounts for business depreciation. He testified that he was compelled to live in his office and to have his meals in a diner; that his bank account was overdrawn and that he owed over $2,000.00 on notes and bills; that he owned jointly with his wife a seashore property worth approximately $4,000, a pleasure boat which was in dry dock and which he was trying to sell, a business property in Delaware County jointly owned with another married couple, and property in Florida in which he had a small equity. In addition, both the husband and wife owned a second mortgage upon which approximately $29.00 per month was paid but that the husband collected all of the monthly payments and ...