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HENSEL v. HENSEL (09/13/62)

September 13, 1962

HENSEL
v.
HENSEL, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 83, April T., 1962, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Feb. T., 1958, No. 815, in case of William B. Hensel v. Ruth Louise Hensel. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

George K. Hanna, with him Hanna and Hanna, for appellant.

Robert L. Ceisler, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Ervin

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 614]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

This is an appeal from a decree granting a divorce a.v.m. to William B. Hensel against Ruth Louise Hensel on the grounds of indignities to the person and desertion.

The parties were married July 21, 1931. At the time of the hearing the husband was 48 years of age and the wife 51 years of age. Two daughters were born to the marriage, both of whom are over 21 years of age, married and self-supporting. Their marriage was kept a secret for approximately ten years because the wife was a school teacher and under the local district rule in effect at that time, married women were not eligible to teach school. In order to protect her position she insisted that the marriage be kept a secret and represented herself to the school authorities and the public as an unmarried woman. It was not until after the teachers' tenure act was passed that she revealed that she was married and the mother of two children.

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 615]

Following the marriage the husband resided at the home of his parents at Hickory, Washington County, Pennsylvania, and the defendant resided with her parents at Sturgeon or Burgettstown, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Sometime in 1941 the parties began living together at 131 Arabella Street, McDonald, Washington County, Pennsylvania, and in the spring of 1942 the husband entered the military service of the United States Government and is presently in that service, having risen to the rank of captain. By what was apparently an agreed arrangement, she had him arrested for desertion and nonsupport in April of 1942, just prior to his entry into the military service. An order of support in the amount of $50.00 per month was made at that time. She testified that she had him arrested for desertion and nonsupport because "she wanted him with her" but as stated by the court below, "It is a matter of common knowledge that at that time such orders were easily obtained in order to secure the government allotments and allowances." In the early stages of the war, there were no mandatory allotments provided for enlisted men.

While the court below granted the divorce on the grounds of indignities to the person and desertion, we deem it unnecessary to discuss the cause of indignities and will confine our discussion to the cause of desertion.

It is apparent from the record that the parties lived together only a very short time, although they have been married for over 30 years. The parties admittedly have not lived together since April 24 or 25, 1942, at which time the defendant left the home in which the parties were living and went to Sturgeon, Pennsylvania, her parents' home, taking with her the children. Since joining the army the husband has made a ...


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