Appeal from order of County Court of Philadelphia, July T., 1963, No. 2974, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Doris Alexander v. Fort Alexander.
Arneda J. Hazell, for appellant.
Edward P. Rosenberg, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J. Spaulding and Cercone, JJ., join in this dissenting opinion.
[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 298]
Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.:
Doris Alexander, plaintiff herein, petitioned the Domestic Relations Division of the County Court of Philadelphia for support. Ultimately, an appeal was taken to our court. The facts in that case are set forth in Commonwealth ex rel. Alexander v. Alexander, 212 Pa. Superior Ct. 543, 244 A.2d 441 (1968). As is indicated in that opinion, defendant attempted to prove that there was an impediment to his marriage to plaintiff on November 11, 1961 in that both spouses were lawfully married to other spouses and that neither had obtained a divorce.
We remanded the case to the lower court to make a finding whether the parties were lawfully married. We further stated that: "If the lower court finds that the parties were lawfully married, it may then enter a final support order. On the other hand, if it finds that there was an impediment which precluded the consummation of a lawful and valid marriage, plaintiff herein shall not be entitled to support . . . ."
The order was in accord with two well-established doctrines: (1) that a meretricious relationship once established, is presumed to continue, although it can be converted into a valid and legal marriage after the obstacle is removed. Pierce v. Pierce, 355 Pa. 175, 49 A.2d 346 (1946); Wagner v. Wagner, 152 Pa. Superior Ct. 4, 30 A.2d 659 (1943); Melnick v. Melnick, 147 Pa. Superior Ct. 564, 25 A.2d 111 (1942); Cline's Estate, 128 Pa. Superior Ct. 309, 194 A.2d 222 ...