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[U] Bolus v. Bolus

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 19, 2014

ROBERT C. BOLUS, JR., Appellant
v.
HEIDI G. BOLUS, Appellee

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order April 15, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Columbia County Civil Division at No.: 74 of 2009

BEFORE: DONOHUE, J., OTT, J., and PLATT, J. [*]

MEMORANDUM

PLATT, J.

Husband, Robert C. Bolus, Jr., appeals from the order of April 15, 2013, granting his petition to modify alimony. We affirm.

Husband and Wife, Heidi G. Bolus, were divorced on April 14, 2011. They have one child, who lives with Wife in the marital home. On April 11, 2011, Husband and Wife executed a property settlement agreement, in which Husband agreed, inter alia, to pay $1, 157.00 per month in alimony until their daughter graduates from high school or turns nineteen, subject to certain conditions not at issue in this appeal. The agreement states that "[t]he amount of alimony . . . is only subject to modification by either upon a non[-]voluntary reduction of Husband's rental income or for the reasons set forth above in this paragraph." (Property Settlement Agreement, 4/12/11, at 8 ¶ 6.01).

Husband had substantial rental income ($10, 000 per month) in a partnership with his brother. But the partnership dissolved through no fault of [Husband]. His rental income essentially ended. In June of 2013, the parties voluntarily modified the alimony to $550 per month until January 1, 2013, when it went back up to $1157 per month. Then, [Husband] sought to modify it.

(Trial Court Opinion, 5/22/13, at 2-3). After a hearing, on April 15, 2013, the court ordered that the alimony be reduced from $1, 157.00 per month to $650.00 per month. (See Order, 4/15/13). The court found that Husband was until recently under-employed and had substantial income "from about a million dollars of cash assets which generates at least $28, 000 per year" and "several parcels of real estate." (Id. Trial Ct. Op., at 3).[1] Husband timely appealed.[2]

Husband raises two questions for our review:

1. Whether the [trial] court abused its discretion by not correctly considering the respective incomes of the parties when determining the modification of alimony?
2. Did the [trial] court abuse its discretion by considering [Husband's] other assets, effectively double dipping[?]

(Husband's Brief, at 4).

The role of an appellate court in reviewing alimony orders is limited; we review only to determine whether there has been an error of law or abuse of discretion by the trial court. Absent an abuse of discretion or insufficient evidence to sustain the support order, this Court ...

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