[36 NJSuper Page 309] A complaint under oath by Myra Albaugh Coumans, of 374 Adams Court, Ferndale, Michigan, charging defendant with non-support of his two minor children,
Susan Marie (born December 1, 1938) and Mary Elizabeth (born September 6, 1943), was referred to this court by the Circuit Court of the County of Oakland, Pontiac, Michigan, in accordance with the Reciprocal Support Act, N.J.S. 2 A:4-30.1 to 30.23. The complaint also sought arrearages under a Missouri order of support, hereinafter referred to.
Hearings thereon were held on December 21, 1954, January 28, 1955, and finally on May 31, 1955, at which defendant appeared and testified, and was represented by his attorney, Charles Bertini, Esq. Pursuant to defendant's request plaintiff has submitted answers to defendant's interrogatories under oath.
Based on the foregoing, the court does hereby make the following findings:
1. This matter was to have been heard originally on November 23, 1954, but was adjourned until December 21, 1954.
2. The plaintiff and defendant were divorced, defendant having been adjudged the innocent party, by a decree of the Circuit Court of Madison County, Missouri (No. 1741) on January 21, 1946, which decree awarded plaintiff the sum of $75 per month for the support of the two minor children of the marriage, Susan (now age 16) and Mary (now age 11).
3. Subsequently, after due notice to defendant, who was residing outside of the State of Missouri, the said decree was modified by the Missouri court, on May 6, 1954, to provide for $150 per month for the support of the said children, said order of modification reciting that defendant herein then earned $916 per month. Defendant did not appear at said hearing, except by counsel. He failed to appear because of the then serious illness of one of the children of his present marriage.
4. Defendant thereafter never contested the aforesaid increase in the order of support before the courts of Missouri, but now claims before this court that the said increase failed properly to take into account his obligations and expenses, plaintiff's earnings, and the children's needs.
5. Notwithstanding said increase, defendant, until the entry of the temporary order of support entered in this court on January 28, 1955, paid only $80 per month to plaintiff for the support of said children.
6. The temporary order of this court of January 28, 1955 ordered him to pay $100 per month for such support until final hearing.
7. Under the Reciprocal Support Act of this State, the extent of the duty of support is such as the defendant would be under pursuant to the laws of this State. N.J.S. 2 A:4-30.7. But where there is a valid order of support entered in another state, absent special circumstances, the extent of the duty of support in this State will usually be that imposed by that order. This rule is predicated on principles of comity and the basic purpose of the reciprocal ...