No. 1733 October Term 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County at No. 326-A of 1977
Frederick J. Lanshe, Allentown, for appellant.
Justin K. McCarthy, Bethlehem, for appellee.
Hoffman, Robinson, and Louik, JJ.*fn* This decision was reached following the death of Robinson, J.
[ 276 Pa. Super. Page 618]
Appellant challenges the propriety of the order of the lower court dismissing his petition for modification of a child support order. We are unable to decide this matter on the basis of the record presently before us and, accordingly, remand to the lower court for a full hearing on appellant's petition.
On August 16, 1976, the lower court entered an order directing appellant to pay $90.00 per week for the support of his minor child Jonathan. Jonathan was in the custody of appellee (his mother, appellant's estranged wife), pursuant to an earlier agreement between the parties. On July 27, 1977, appellant petitioned the lower court to modify the August 16 support order, citing as justification a variety of changed circumstances. Subsequently, the lower court conducted extensive hearings on a separate dispute between the parties involving appellee's alleged obstruction of appellant's visitation rights under the aforementioned custody agreement. On March 8, 1978, the lower court announced that it had heard enough evidence during the hearings on the visitation dispute to rule on appellant's petition for modification. The lower court then issued an order dismissing appellant's petition for modification. This appeal followed.
After reviewing the record in this case we are unable to determine whether appellant was afforded a full and fair opportunity to air the claims of changed circumstances which he alleged in his petition for modification. Accordingly, we remand this case to the lower court for the purpose of conducting a full hearing on appellant's petition and any other claims of changed circumstances which appellant
[ 276 Pa. Super. Page 619]
chooses to make. See Commonwealth ex rel. Stinson v. Stinson, 227 Pa. Super. 437, 323 A.2d 427 (1974).*fn**
President Judge OTTO P. ROBINSON of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, and Judge MAURICE LOUIK of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny ...