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PATRICIA MACCARTNEY PALMATIER v. JAMES MACCARTNEY (06/01/87)

submitted: June 1, 1987.

PATRICIA MACCARTNEY PALMATIER
v.
JAMES MACCARTNEY, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Potter County, Civil Division, No. 566 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Daniel F. Glassmire, Coudersport, for appellant.

Martha J. Duvall, Assistant District Attorney, Coudersport, for appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Tamilia and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Tamilia

[ 365 Pa. Super. Page 301]

Appellant/father appeals the trial court's grant of appellee/mother's Petition to Modify Support Order. We affirm the Order of the lower court.

The parties entered an agreement on March 23, 1981, under which father was to pay mother $300 per month for support of their four minor children. A divorce decree dated April 22, 1981 incorporated this agreement. In February of 1983, father filed a Petition to Modify the Support Order. An Order was issued on March 3, which required that during the summer months when father had custody of the children, he would be responsible for only one-third of his support obligation under the prior Order. On August 15, 1986, mother filed a Petition to Modify Support Order. In her Petition to Modify Support Order, mother claimed there had been a change of circumstances in that the $300 per month support was no longer adequate to support four teenage boys*fn1 whose expenses had increased. A hearing on this modification was held on September 9, 1986 before

[ 365 Pa. Super. Page 302]

    senior Judge Paul B. Greiner, specially presiding, and subsequently, the child support Order was increased from $300 a month to $400 a month, with no credit to father for the periods during which the children visit him. Father filed notice of appeal on October 22, 1986. The lower court issued a memorandum opinion and Order on January 12, 1987.

The lower court, in its memorandum opinion and Order of court, found that both parties had remarried after the divorce. Both are employed as school teachers. Mother teaches in New York State and is paying $160 per credit for thirty credit hours toward a required master's degree. Her net income from teaching is $349.82 per two-week pay period or $174.92 per week. Additionally, mother works as a waitress for approximately twenty hours per week at $2.35 per hour, for an average of $35 per week, plus average tips of $10 per night, Monday through Thursday and $25 per night on Fridays. With Internal Revenue Service deductions allowed, mother's net income is about $236 per week.

Father's net income is $1,479.12 per month or $341.33 per week. The court looked to the applicable county support guidelines and determined that with four dependents, father's obligation would be $87 per week or $377 per month.*fn2 The lower court also found father's living expenses (with the $300 support payments deducted) to be $1,116.97, which would leave him $362 as an available balance. The trial court concluded that the monthly expense payments of father included amounts for payments on charge accounts "all of which cannot be attributed to the necessities of life and particularly to his own maintenance, clearly indicating 'overspending' and lack of good fiscal management."

In Fee v. Fee, 344 Pa. Super. 276, 279, 496 A.2d 793, 795 (1985), this Court restated the standard of review ...


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