No. 352 April Term 1979, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cambria County, Juvenile Division, No. 77-493.
John D. Gibson, Johnstown, for appellants.
Dennis R. Govachini, Assistant Public Defender, Ebensburg, submitted a brief on behalf of Krista Roles, appellee.
Charles Getty, Ebensburg, submitted a brief on behalf of Cambria County, appellee, participating party.
Spaeth, Wickersham and Lipez, JJ. Wickersham, J., files a dissenting statement.
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Appellants, parents of Krista Roles (a minor), appeal the trial court's award of Krista to appellee Cambria County Children and Youth Services. We vacate the order and remand the cause.
The scope of appellate review in custody matters is quite broad. Commonwealth ex rel. Spriggs v. Carson, 470 Pa. 290, 368 A.2d 635 (1977); Commonwealth ex rel. Myers v. Myers, 468 Pa. 134, 360 A.2d 587 (1976); Custody of Neal, 260 Pa. Super. 151, 393 A.2d 1057 (1978).
Although we will not usurp the fact-finding function of the trial court, we are not bound by deductions or inferences made by the hearing judge from the facts as found. Trefsgar v. Trefsgar,  Pa. Super. , 395 A.2d 273 (1978); Commonwealth ex rel. Ulmer v. Ulmer, 231 Pa. Super. 144, 331 A.2d 665 (1974); Commonwealth ex rel. Grillo v. Shuster, 226 Pa. Super. 229, 312 A.2d 58 (1973). Because of the Commonwealth's legitimate and overriding concern for the well-being of its children, we are required to render an independent judgment based on the evidence and testimony and make such order on the merits of the case as to effect a just result. Spells v. Spells, 250 Pa. Super. 168, 378 A.2d 879 (1977); Commonwealth ex rel. Zeedick v. Zeedick, 213 Pa. Super. 114, 245 A.2d 663 (1968). So as to facilitate this broad review, we have consistently emphasized that the hearing court must provide us not only with a complete record, Augustine v. Augustine, 228 Pa. Super. 312, 324 A.2d 477 (1974), but also with a complete and comprehensive opinion which contains a thorough analysis of the record and specific reasons for the court's ultimate decision. Martincheck v. Martincheck,  Pa. Super. , 396 A.2d 788 (1979); Tobias v. Tobias, 248 Pa. Super. 168, 374 A.2d 1372 (1977); Gunter v. Gunter, 240 Pa. Super. 382, 361 A.2d 307 (1976).
Custody of White, 270 Pa. Super. 165, 167-168, 411 A.2d 231, 232-33 (1979) (emphasis added).
Generally speaking, child custody cases may be divided into three classes. The first class comprises those cases in
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which the dispute is between the parents of the child; the second class, those in which the dispute is between the parents, or a parent of the child and a third party; and the third, those in which the dispute is between the parents, or a parent, of the child and the ...