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COMMONWEALTH v. DOUGHTY (09/11/58)

September 11, 1958

COMMONWEALTH
v.
DOUGHTY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 95, Oct. T., 1958, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County, June T., 1957, No. 130, in case of Commonwealth v. Stewart E. Doughty. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Bernard V. DiGiacomo, for appellant.

A. Benjamin Scirica, for appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 501]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County, dismissing exceptions to a support order imposed upon the appellant husband, Stewart E. Doughty, requiring him to pay the sum of $40 per week for the support of his minor son, Ross, age 11, and $20 per week for the support of his wife Ann, a total of $60 weekly. The amount of the said order to be effective so long as the wife and son occupy the property held by the entireties and the appellant continue to pay the carrying charges on said real estate.

The appellant claims that the court below erred in entering any order; and that the order made was excessive and so vague as to prohibit compliance therewith.

The parties were married under fictitious names, in Elkton, Maryland, October 9, 1935. The wife at that time was 18 years of age, the husband nine months older. This marriage was kept secret and on December 14, 1941 they went through another marriage ceremony under their correct names and thereafter lived

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 502]

    together as man and wife. There is one child of the marriage, a son Ross, who was eleven years old at the time of this action.

It was apparently a happy marriage and they lived together without untoward incident in a home owned by the entireties in Creamery, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. In June of 1956 the husband advised his wife that he had been having an affair with another woman for the past six or seven years and that she was pregnant. However, he promised not to see her again, so his wife forgave him and they continued to live together.

On November 17, 1956 the appellant put into operation a plan to get rid of his marriage obligation, more devious and complicated than has ever come to our attention. While the parties were on a shopping trip, he took his wife to the office of his attorney. She was there confronted with a prepared separation agreement and also a power of attorney containing a waiver of summons, entry of appearance and submission to the jurisdiction of a Mexican District Court, for the purpose of enabling the appellant to secure a Mexican divorce. The power of attorney contained unfilled blanks, including the agent's name and was in the past tense, setting forth that a divorce had already been begun when in fact, it had not at that time been instituted.

The appellant gave as his reason for this sudden drastic action that he was being threatened with arrest by the other woman; that he would be disgraced, lose his position and be forced to sell the stock in his father's corporation; and that the pregnant woman's three brothers were "gunning" for him unless these arrangements were completed. He further persuaded her to sign, by promising that the divorce and his marriage to the other woman was only for the purpose

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 503]

    of giving the expected child a name and that he would immediately divorce the ...


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