No. 100 Harrisburg, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Civil Division, at No. 3397 S Term, 1980
Bonnie D. Menaker, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Herbert A. Schaffner, Harrisburg, for appellee.
Brosky, Wieand and Montemuro, JJ. Wieand, J., files a dissenting statement.
[ 310 Pa. Super. Page 458]
On December 31, 1980, the court granted Charles H. Geyer, Sr.'s, appellant's, divorce and retained jurisdiction of the case with respect to attorney's fees, costs of the proceeding, division of marital property and alimony. The master appointed by the court conducted a hearing and made recommendations with which the parties complied except the recommendation as to alimony. The court entered the following order:
And now, May 19, 1981, after hearing, the plaintiff's exceptions to the Master's Report relative to alimony are hereby dismissed and the Defendant is awarded alimony in the amount of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per week effective January 1, 1981 until such time as Defendant attains her 65th birthday.
On appeal, Mr. Geyer argues that the lower court in determining the right to and amount of alimony, failed to consider the marital property received by Mrs. Geyer as part of the equitable distribution of the couple's assets. He also contends that the duration of alimony payments ordered by the lower court is in violation of Section 501(c).
[ 310 Pa. Super. Page 459]
Finally, Mr. Geyer argues that the alimony awarded is excessive.
We must first consider what is the scope of review of alimony awards. In our recent opinion in Remick v. Remick, 310 Pa. Super. 23, 456 A.2d 163 (1983), we said that under the new Divorce Code, alimony orders should be reviewed only for an abuse of discretion and not broadly, as is the actual decree in divorce (at 29-30). President Judge Cercone explained in Remick, id., at 30, that
While this Court is very much concerned with orders affecting the property rights of the parties to a marriage on the support of the children from that union, our concern in those, essentially monetary judgments is not as paramount as it is with the decision ruling on the status of the marriage or custody of the children.
Because our review of the record and trial court opinion indicates that the court may not have considered all of the circumstances pertinent to an alimony award, we reverse and remand.
In determining the amount of alimony to be paid to Mrs. Geyer, the master considered the following evidence:
1. Mrs. Geyer's net earnings are approximately three-fifths that of Mr. Geyer.
2. That Mr. Geyer is 61 years of age and that Mrs. Geyer is 60 years of age.
3. That both parties appeared to the master to be in good health without any apparent disabilities. Mr. Geyer confirmed the master's observation when he stated he was in good health.
4. On retirement at age 62, Mr. Geyer's income from "Social Security" and his company pension will be between $790 and $923 a month. His retirement benefits would be increased if he would work until he was age 65. He has been employed by his present employer for 39 years.
On retirement at age 65, Mrs. Geyer's total retirement income from "Social Security" and her employee's pension would be $571 per month. She has been employed by her
[ 310 Pa. Super. Page 460]
present employer for six years, having been a ...