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TRINA ANNETTE FORD v. WILLIAM FITZGERALD (03/20/80)

submitted: March 20, 1980.

TRINA ANNETTE FORD
v.
WILLIAM FITZGERALD, APPELLANT



No. 1205 October Term, 1979 Appeal from Order in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Family Court, No. 76063.

COUNSEL

Mark A. Cullen, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Trina Annette Ford, appellee, in pro. per.

Hester, Wickersham and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 26]

Presently before the court is appellant-father's appeal from the lower court's order dated May 10, 1979, wherein the lower court imposed upon the appellant-father the obligation to support his child, Jamie Lynn born March 18, 1978, to the extent of $10 per week pursuant to the Civil Procedural Support Law, 62 P.S. § 2043.31 et seq., as amended (now 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6701, et seq.). Appellant has appealed arguing that the award of $10 per week is unfair, inequitable and confiscatory.

We agree and reverse the order.

We are of the considered opinion that the instant case is controlled by Commonwealth ex rel. Valentine v. Valentine, 266 Pa. Super. 506, 405 A.2d 933 (1979).

It is beyond question that every parent has a legal duty to contribute to the support of his minor children consistent with the parents' respective abilities to pay. Conway v. Dana, 456 Pa. 536, 318 A.2d 324 (1974). Conversely, a support order must be fair and non-confiscatory and must allow for the reasonable living expenses of the parent. Com. ex rel. Goodman v. Delara, 219 Pa. Super. 449, 281 A.2d 751 (1971).

Additionally, we recognize that the amount of a support order rests largely within the sound discretion of the trial

[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 27]

    court and its judgment shall not be disturbed absent a clear abuse of that discretion or an error of law.

In the case at bar, the record reflects appellant's only income is $164.00 per month from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, while appellee-mother and the parties' child receive a separate grant from the same ...


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