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DIANA LEVINE v. WILLIAM LEVINE (01/27/87)

filed: January 27, 1987.

DIANA LEVINE, APPELLEE,
v.
WILLIAM LEVINE, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order entered September 24, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil No. 80-09647.

COUNSEL

David L. Creskoff, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Arnold Machles, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Wickersham,*fn* Olszewski, and Beck, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 299]

This is an appeal from an order denying the exceptions filed by appellee-wife and appellant-husband from the recommendation of the master-in-support and ordering the

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 300]

    appellant to pay $32.50 per week in spousal support and $65.00 per week in child support. Appellant argues in this appeal that the trial court abused its discretion in increasing, rather than decreasing, the amount of the child support and in failing to terminate spousal support.

On March 9, 1983, appellant was ordered by the trial court to pay $65 per week toward the support of his wife and his thirteen-year-old daughter. The parties were divorced on April 27, 1984. The trial court entered a bifurcated divorce decree and, consequently, did not dispose of the economic issues ancillary to the divorce. On July 6, 1984, appellant filed a petition to modify the support order of March 9, 1983, by requesting a decrease in the amount of the order. Appellee shortly thereafter filed a petition to increase the amount of the support order. After a hearing, the master-in-support recommended that appellant pay $32.50 per week in spousal support and $65 per week in child support. Both appellant and appellee filed exceptions to the master's proposed order. On September 24, 1985, the trial court denied the exceptions of both parties and ordered appellant to pay $32.50 per week in spousal support and $65 per week in child support. The trial court did not convert the order for spousal support into an order for alimony pendente lite either at the time of the divorce or in the September 24, 1985, order from which the appellant is now appealing.

In reviewing spousal or child support orders, an appellate court may not interfere with the determination of the lower court unless there has been a clear abuse of discretion. Remick v. Remick, 310 Pa. Super. 23, 456 A.2d 163 (1983). We find that the trial court has not abused its discretion by increasing, rather than decreasing, the amount of the child support order. The trial court's opinion adequately disposes of the issues raised by appellant with respect to the child support order and consequently, we affirm that portion of the trial court's order increasing the amount of child support. Regarding appellant's claim that

[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 301]

    the trial court abused its discretion in failing to terminate spousal support, we reverse the trial court's order.

The characterization of the payments to appellee has proven troublesome in this case. The confusion was the result of several factors: the trial court's continued reference to the payments as spousal support in its September 24, 1985, order even though the parties were divorced; the trial court's failure to consider the nature of the payments in its opinion; appellant's reference to the payments in his ...


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