Appeal, No. 311, Oct. T., 1960, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware County, Sept. T., 1960, No. F-5-16, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Elsie M. Brown v. Clarence H. Brown. Judgment reversed.
Samuel Kagle, for appellant.
George R. Johnson, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.
[ 195 Pa. Super. Page 325]
OPINION BY MONTGOMERY, J.
Clarence H. Brown, husband-appellant, has taken this appeal from the order of the court below awarding the wife-relatrix $4.50 per week for her support.
Appellant and relatrix were married on August 30, 1940. The wife is 44 years of age and the husband is 47 years of age. One son, now age 12, was born of the marriage. The wife withdrew from the marital home early in December, 1959, and has continued to live separate
[ 195 Pa. Super. Page 326]
and apart from her husband since that time. The son has continued to live with the father since that time.
On June 8, 1960, the wife filed a petition for support in the court below and a hearing was held and concluded on July 13, 1960. At said hearing, the only testimony offered was that of the parties involved. The husband's weekly income is approximately $80.00 and the wife's income from her present employment with Girard Trust-Corn Exchange Bank is $48.00 per week. On this appeal, the husband does not contest the amount of the order but contends that the evidence produced is insufficient to support an order in any amount for the reason that the wife has not established adequate legal reason for her voluntary withdrawal.
The sole question in this case is whether the wife left the marital abode for adequate legal cause. The function of this Court is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain the order of the hearing judge. Commonwealth ex rel. De Cristofano v. De Cristofano, 193 Pa. Superior Ct. 574, 165 A.2d 105; Commonwealth ex rel. Scarpato v. Scarpato, 190 Pa. Superior Ct. 45, 151 A.2d 783; Commonwealth v. Cooper, 183 Pa. Superior Ct. 36, 128 A.2d 181. In support cases, the only legal cause which would justify a refusal by the husband to support his wife is conduct of the wife which would support valid grounds for divorce. Commonwealth v. Deose, 194 Pa. 466, 168 A.2d 791; Commonwealth ex rel. Coleman v. Coleman, 184 Pa. Superior Ct. 256, 133 A.2d 307; Commonwealth v. Sgarlat, 180 Pa. Superior Ct. 638, 121 A.2d 883. Conversely, where a wife voluntarily ...