No. 115 October Term, 1979, Appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County at No. 518 April Term. 1973 modifying the support order of July 1, 1976.
Fronefield Crawford, West Chester, for appellant.
Sarah M. Ford, Norristown, for appellee.
Spaeth, Hester and Cavanaugh, JJ. Spaeth, J., files dissenting statement.
[ 275 Pa. Super. Page 199]
This is an appeal from an order of the court below reducing the child support order entered against the appellee, Mr. Lee Hargrave. The appellant, Mrs. Marjorie Hargrave, and Mr. Hargrave were divorced in 1970. They have
[ 275 Pa. Super. Page 200]
four children: Laura, age nineteen, Patricia, age eighteen, Marjorie and Lee Anne, both fourteen. On November 8, 1978, Mr. Hargrave filed a petition for modification of a support order entered against him on July 1, 1976. Mr. Hargrave sought a downward modification based on the change of residency of daughter Lee Anne from Mrs. Hargrave's home to his and increased contributions made toward the college education of Laura and Patricia. Subsequently, the appellant filed a petition for modification and increase of the support order. The increase was sought on the basis of increased expenses and an alleged increase in Mr. Hargrave's earnings and assets. The lower court entered an order reducing the support payments from $145.00 to $90.00 per week. Mrs. Hargrave appeals requesting that the support order of July 1, 1976, in the amount of $145.00 per week be reinstated.
At the time of the July 1, 1976 support order Laura and Patricia were residing with their father, the appellee, for schooling purposes and the two youngest children were residing with Mrs. Hargrave. At that time the court modified a previous support order of $200.00 per week for four children to $145.00 per week for the support of two children and $200.00 per week for those times when all four children are residing with the appellant, Marjorie Hargrave.*fn1
Mr. Hargrave, appellee, lives with his present wife and her three children in Maryland in a home they purchased for $138,000 and on which there is a mortgage of $111,000. He is employed by Fairchild Industries at a yearly salary of $55,000. Appellee was previously employed by General Electric Company at approximately the same salary. His net pay is $669.00 per week. The appellee and his present wife
[ 275 Pa. Super. Page 201]
own two condominiums which are leased to tenants. The lower court found that these properties produce no net income, exclusive of tax benefits. Other assets include appellee's interest in the General Electric retirement fund and stock purchase plan, although these funds are not presently available to him.
As noted above, at the time of the lower court proceedings appellee was paying $145.00 per week in child support. Apart from this amount appellee contributes $9,200.00 per year for the tuition, travel and room expenses of Laura and Patricia. In ...