No. 265 Pittsburgh, 1984, Appeal from the Order entered January 30, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Family Division, at No. 947 of 1981-D
Bernard T. McArdle, Greensburg, for appellant.
Joseph B. Govi, Greensburg, for appellee.
McEwen, Cercone and Handler,*fn* JJ.
[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 54]
This is an appeal from a child custody order entered on January 30, 1984, in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County by the Honorable Donetta W. Ambrose, J. Appellant is Medine Pilon, the mother, and appellee is Brian M. Pilon, the father.
The parties were divorced by Decree on January 29, 1982, and by a consent order signed by the Honorable Charles E. Marker, J., custody of the four children was vested in the mother with visitation privileges in the father every weekend an as the parties should agree. The children born of the marriage of the parties include: Adam Pilon, born November 16, 1972; Heather Pilon, born January 8, 1977; and Shane Pilon, born July 31, 1978. A fourth child, the oldest, Leyla Pilon, born August 15, 1969, was adopted by the parties during their marriage.
On May 26, 1983, the father filed a claim seeking a modification of the Consent Order to obtain custody of the four children. After hearing all of the evidence, Judge Ambrose issued Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and an Order of Court, which directed 1.) that the two older children, Leyla, then age 14, and Adam, then age 11, were to remain in the custody of their mother, and 2.) that the two younger children, Heather, then age 7, and Shane, then age 5, were to be in the custody of their father. It is this order from which the mother appeals.
The sole issue raised on appeal is that the court below abused its discretion in dividing the children between the mother and the father in the absence of compelling reasons to do so. Our scope of review in custody cases is clear.
[It] is of the broadest type . . . Thus, an appellate court is not bound by deductions or inferences made by a trial court from the facts found; . . . nor must a reviewing court accept a finding which has no competent evidence to support it . . . [However], this [broad]
[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 55]
power of review was never intended to mean that an appellate court is free to nullify the fact finding function of the hearing judge . . .
Commonwealth ex rel. Robinson v. Robinson, 505 Pa. 226, 236, 478 A.2d 800, 804 (1984), citing Commonwealth ex rel. Spriggs v. ...