No. 2182 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Criminal Division, at No. 803-A of 1978.
Mark S. Sigmon, Bethlehem, for appellant.
Joseph C. Bernstein, Allentown, for appellee.
Cercone, President Judge, and Wickersham and Brosky, JJ.
[ 291 Pa. Super. Page 52]
This is a support case. Sandra Kistler has appealed from the lower court's order granting appellee's petition to modify and reducing the amount of support to be paid to appellant from $225 per week to $100 per week, retroactive to the date of filing, March 17, 1980. In addition, appellee was found to be in contempt of court and directed to pay $1,500 within 30 days. The issue before us is whether appellee
[ 291 Pa. Super. Page 53]
showed a change in circumstances which would justify the reduction. We find that he did not, and accordingly reverse.
The basic facts, which are not in dispute, are as follows. The parties were married on March 9, 1974, and separated August 17, 1978. Prior to and during her marriage, Mrs. Kistler was employed by United Airlines. When her husband insisted that they move from New Jersey to Allentown, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Kistler continued to work for United Airlines on a part-time basis, in their Allentown office. At all times relevant to this appeal, appellee was and remains, president of Geo. W. Kistler, Inc. The six hundred pages of testimony taken during the three hearings in this case focus primarily upon the earnings and losses of Geo. W. Kistler, Inc. At the time of the December 5, 1978 hearing, appellee was the president and sole shareholder, receiving a weekly salary of $900, for a gross yearly salary of $46,000. The corporation provided appellee with a vehicle, a 1978 Cadillac, and paid all the insurance, gas and maintenance expenses. The corporation also provided appellee with Blue Cross and Blue Shield; paid all his travel and entertainment expenses, and paid him a monthly rental of $2,000 for a building which it leases from him. As of December 5, 1978, appellee's net worth was $200,000. At the time of the December 5, hearing, appellee resided with his father, but testified that he intended to purchase a condominium for $54,000.
At the November 14, 1979 hearing, appellee testified that his corporation had a severe "working capital" problem, and that upon the advice of a management consultant, he had reduced his salary from $900 to $700 per week. Due to the need for capital, Mr. Kistler opened up his corporation to an outside investor, a Mr. Kuthy, who purchased roughly 25% of the corporation's stock. Based upon the purchase price, the stock of the corporation was worth approximately $200,000 at the time of purchase, according to Thomas McDonald, the certified public accountant who handled the corporation's books. The testimony of Mr. McDonald established that the purchase of the stock was very beneficial to the corporation.
[ 291 Pa. Super. Page 54]
Appellee also testified that his mother had purchased the condominium about which he had testified at the December, 1978 hearing, because the bank had denied him a mortgage; and that he was living in it and paying her $325 per month rent, plus $55 per month for maintenance. Although he indicated that he had an agreement with his mother that he would pay her back for the purchase of the condominium, no written agreement was produced by him to this effect; and he admitted that he was not currently making any payments to her.
At the February 13, 1980 hearing, Mr. Kistler testified to a personal financial statement prepared by him which showed his net worth to be $177,124 as of June 22, 1979. He also stated that he owned real estate ...