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CORACE v. CORACE (09/17/64)

decided: September 17, 1964.

CORACE, APPELLANT,
v.
CORACE



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1962, No. 493, in case of Dorothy A. Corace v. Arthur L. Corace.

COUNSEL

Charles D. Coll, with him Robert L. Woshner, for appellant.

Joseph I. Lewis, for appellee.

Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (Rhodes, P. J., absent). Opinion by Flood, J.

Author: Flood

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 236]

This is an appeal from the refusal of a divorce a mensa et thoro. Our reading of the testimony brings us to the same conclusion which was reached by the court below.

1. Many of the matters to which the plaintiff testified consisting of rumors and unverified suspicions of associations with other women, would not, even if believed, furnish grounds for divorce. The only situation testified to specifically related to a woman who had been hired by the husband in connection with the sale of some houses in his business and discharged two weeks later on his wife's demand. As to this woman the plaintiff testified only (1) that she found her with the defendant on adjoining chairs, sitting close together talking, and on cross-examination she conceded that they could very well have been talking about business and (2) that the defendant gave her a $14.12 bottle of perfume when she left his employ. There was no testimony of any association of the defendant with this woman either before or after this brief period.

The plaintiff testified that she found some paper in her husband's wastebasket containing names and addresses

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 237]

    of some other women but nothing further was adduced with regard to them. Since the names were not being preserved by the husband but were found in a wastebasket, his explanation that one name was that of a woman who did some decorating work at his houses and that he did not remember who the others were, but that they were probably prospective tenants, is at least as likely an explanation as the darker conjecture of the wife. Finding lipstick and pancake on his shirts on a few occasions proves little, since the plaintiff conceded that she used such cosmetics. The testimony as to relations with other women was worthless as the basis for a decree of divorce.

2. The cancellation by the defendant of the plaintiff's charge and checking accounts at the end of 1961, and his return of clothing bought by her on credit was explained by him on the ground that business had been bad for some years and her expenditures had been excessive. Within a few years after the marriage, when the parties were still in their twenties, the husband had done so well financially that they were able to move into a fine house on five acres of ground in a good residential area of Pittsburgh. Some years later they acquired another fine home in Florida. They lived more than comfortably and the plaintiff no doubt found it difficult to adjust when her husband's income dropped. Her expenditures in the fall of 1961 remained quite high even after he had asked her to cut down and it was only after this that he cut off her credit and returned some clothing she had bought on credit. It is hard to say that the husband had no justification for this. In any event, though it may to some degree have humiliated her, especially if he criticized her to the personnel at any of the stores, it is not such a course of conduct as would in itself warrant a divorce on the ground of indignities. Nor is it converted into a ground for divorce by his own failure to cut down on some of

[ 204 Pa. Super. Page 238]

    his own luxuries as much as he might have. Canceling her golf club membership while retaining ...


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