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JOANNE R. PRESCOTT (NALITZ) v. DONALD JAMES PRESCOTT (02/20/81)

filed: February 20, 1981.

JOANNE R. PRESCOTT (NALITZ), APPELLANT,
v.
DONALD JAMES PRESCOTT



No. 399 April Term, 1979 Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Family Division, No. D-151 of 1965

COUNSEL

James D. Belliveau, Braddock, for appellant.

Alice Dobson, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Price, Brosky and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Brosky

[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 431]

Joanne R. Prescott (Nalitz) has appealed from the trial court's order denying her petition for collection of arrearages and granting her ex-husband's petition for cancellation of arrearages accrued pursuant to an order for support dated August 5, 1979 providing for payment of support in the amount of $25 per week and $5 per week on arrearages. Appellant disputes the weight given by the lower court to payments made by appellee directly to or on behalf of the parties' children. She contends that although she did accept some money from her ex-husband directly, outside of the court order, the lower court improperly credited appellee for these payments with the result that it decided to cancel all the arrearages. Mrs. Nalitz does not disagree that the arrearages should have been partially remitted. Her claim is that the court abused its discretion to remit arrearages in this instance by canceling all the arrearages owed.

That the trial court has the power to remit arrearages is without question.*fn1 However, it must in doing so take into consideration all relevant factors. Commonwealth ex rel. Fryling v. Fryling, 220 Pa. Super. 68, 283 A.2d 726 (1971).

The period before the court was limited by stipulation to August 18, 1970 to December 31, 1974 and not "to the present" as stated in the trial court opinion. As of August

[ 284 Pa. Super. Page 43218]

, 1970, the arrearages amounted to $4,747.50, according to the records kept by the Allegheny County Family Division's Collection and Disbursement Office. The trial court found that the arrearages as of August 18, 1970 amounted to $3,497.50 but gave no explanation as to how it arrived at this figure. From an examination of the record, we are unable to ascertain the basis for the trial court's finding. For the period before the court, the arrearages totaled $7,754.50, based on certain calculations.*fn2

Appellant contends that the trial court erred in allowing her ex-husband credit for certain payments and calls our attention to items contained in a part of the record entitled, "Summary of Defendant's Case" apparently drawn up by appellee's counsel for the trial court's benefit and upon which the trial court appears to have placed a great deal of reliance. The Summary refers to certain medical expenditures, such as, "Balance of Orthodontia for Charles," for $1,050, contracted January, 1975. Clearly, this amount is outside the period ending December 31, 1974, and the court below should not have given appellee credit for this payment.

In addition, of the $2,184 amount indicated in the Summary as being for medical ...


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