Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, March T., 1971, No. 309, in case of Commonwealth ex rel. Rudolph J. Likovich v. Sarah L. Likovich.
Thomas J. Terputac, for appellant.
Maury D. Nusbaum, with him August L. Sismondo, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Cercone, JJ. (Spaulding, J., absent). Opinion by Montgomery, J.
[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 202]
This is a habeas corpus proceeding brought by the father of three girls, aged nine, six, and four, to secure their custody from their mother, his divorced wife. Although the lower court awarded custody of the children
[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 203]
to the mother, the record in this case presents a most difficult problem for the overwhelming weight of the evidence contained therein indicates that the mother, although 28 years old at the time of the hearing, has been unusually immature and irresponsible in her role as a mother to her children both before and at the time of the hearing.
The record discloses that the mother, while married to the petitioner-appellant, a sergeant in the regular United States Army Air Force, and living with him in the Republic of Panama, where he was stationed in 1968, began associating with a native Panamanian (Steve). When confronted with this situation, she demanded a divorce and to be returned to the United States alone and requested that her children remain in the care of her Panamanian maid. Her husband refused her requests but did arrange for her return with the children. This occurred in June of 1968, and thereafter appellant provided $225 per month for their support. The husband was unable to return to the United States until the summer of 1970.
After appellee's return to the United States, she maintained a home at various places in Westmoreland and Washington Counties, where she regularly entertained numerous male visitors; she permitted an unmarried couple to stay there; she slept with certain of her male visitors; she left the children with teenage baby-sitters while she visited bars and taverns, where she consumed intoxicants, returning home as late as four a.m.; she encouraged drinking in her various homes; she permitted minors to drink there; she became pregnant and delivered a child in June, 1970, which she abandoned in the hospital for 49 days; and finally she left it with tavern owner, Carl "Red" Barron, for adoption, refusing to name the father of the child; she became pregnant again in October, 1970, and
[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 204]
was in that condition at the time of her divorce, which was procured by her husband in December, 1970, and at the time of the hearing in this proceeding; she has named a minor, Ralph Lincavage, as the father of this child and promises to marry him as soon as he reaches the age of 21; and his parents violently object to the marriage and sought to break up this relationship, which existed from the time this boy was 19, when he started living with appellee.
Appellee's care of her children has been minimal, as her previously described actions might indicate. She has no means of support ...