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KUSHIK v. KUSHIK (11/20/74)

decided: November 20, 1974.

KUSHIK
v.
KUSHIK, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Superior Court, April T., 1972, No. 378, affirming order of Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, of Allegheny County, (Sur 2240 April, 1968) No. D 2306 of 1970, in case of Mercedes Kushik v. Myron Kushik.

COUNSEL

Charles E. McKissock, for appellant.

No oral argument was made nor brief submitted for appellee.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Manderino. Mr. Justice Roberts took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Manderino

[ 458 Pa. Page 476]

Appellant, Myron Kushik, and appellee, Mercedes Kushik were married on October 7, 1950. On February 19, 1968, the wife instituted a divorce action in Allegheny County and soon thereafter moved out of the family home. The husband and the parties' three sons continued living in the home. In May of 1968, the wife filed a petition for alimony pendente lite and counsel fees. After a hearing, the trial court, on May 31, 1968, ordered the husband to pay $40 per month and $175 in counsel fees.

On June 30, 1971, the wife filed a petition for enforcement of the original order and collection of arrearages. After a hearing, the trial court, on September 8, 1971, set the arrearages at $1,560.00, directed that alimony pendente lite continue at $40 monthly, and ordered that an additional $25 be paid monthly on the arrearages.

On May 17, 1972, the wife filed another petition alleging that the husband had failed to comply with the previous order and requesting that his wages be attached. A hearing at which the wife did not appear was held on June 7, 1972. At the conclusion of the hearing, during which the husband was not represented by an attorney, the trial court told the husband

[ 458 Pa. Page 477]

    that he should be represented and gave the husband until Tuesday of the following week to obtain counsel. The trial court further said that it would not issue an order in the meantime. Two days later, on June 9, 1972, four days before the deadline set by the trial court, the husband's attorney filed an answer to the wife's petition of May 17, 1972, and a cross-petition. The husband alleged, among other things, that his take-home pay was approximately $5,000 per year and that his wife's annual income was approximately $12,000. He further alleged that his wife had secured a divorce in the state of Virginia on June 14, 1970. The husband requested, among other things, a cancellation of the arrearages and of the alimony order. He also requested that the wife be ordered to contribute to the support of the three sons living with the husband. No hearing was scheduled or held after the husband's answer and cross-petition were filed on June 9, 1972.

Seventeen days later, on June 26, 1972, the trial court held that the original order was to remain in effect and ordered the husband's wages attached in the amount of $65.00 per month to pay arrearages set at $1,560.00. An appeal was taken from the trial court's order of June 26, 1972. The Superior Court affirmed. We then granted appellant's petition for allowance of appeal to this Court.

The husband on this appeal raises various issues, all of which were raised by his answer and cross-petition filed on June 9, 1972. These issues concern (1) the validity of the wife's Virginia divorce decree (2) the effect of the Virginia divorce decree, if valid, upon the husband's obligation to pay alimony pendente lite after the date of the Virginia decree (3) the husband's right to a cancellation of the outstanding support order and of some or all of the ...


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