Appeal from Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, of Cambria County, No. 1984 - 858.
Robert C. Capristo, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Calvin J. Webb, II, Edensburg, for appellee.
Wieand, Del Sole and Hester, JJ.
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This appeal is a last ditch effort by a mother, who has been awarded primary custody of two daughters, to prevent visitation by the girls' father. We affirm the order of the Honorable Eugene Creany who, after carefully considering
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the mother's objections, permitted visitation by the father. However, we will modify the order by eliminating the "automatic" penalty imposed by the hearing court in the event of the mother's refusal to comply with the visitation feature of the order.
Dr. Lawrence S. Rosenberg and Ruth Rosenberg, husband and wife, are the parents of two daughters, Rebecca, age ten, and Idra, age seven. The Rosenberg marriage fell on hard times and, on January 31, 1984, Ruth commenced an action in divorce. In March, 1984, both spouses filed petitions under the Protection from Abuse Act of October 7, 1976, 35 P.S. § 10181 et seq. The custody of the parties' daughters was an immediate and pressing issue, and, on April 2, 1984, the court awarded temporary custody of the girls to their mother and established a schedule of visitation for their father. Four amended orders dealing with support and visitation were entered in the next three months. The parties were divorced on July 13, 1984.
On August 6, 1984, Dr. Rosenberg filed a petition requesting that Ruth Rosenberg be held in contempt for refusing to allow visitation as the court had ordered. He also requested that permanent custody be awarded to him.*fn1 Subsequent hearings disclosed the mother's consistent pattern of refusing to allow visits by the father. In January, 1985, she was found to be in contempt of court and was imprisoned until she subsequently purged herself by agreeing to allow visitation. To facilitate visitation, temporary custody of the girls was awarded to their maternal grandparents, at whose home subsequent supervised visitations
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took place. Thereafter, the issue of permanent custody was heard and decided.
Appellant supported her objections to the father's visits by accusations that appellee had sexually abused Idra, the younger daughter. Because of these accusations, both daughters were examined by a psychologist and by two psychiatrists. In addition to this expert testimony, the court received testimony from the parties, their daughters (in ...