Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kay v. Kay case brief

Kay v. Kay case brief summary
334 A.2d 585 (1975)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant husband sought review of an order from a court of common pleas (Pennsylvania), which, in an action in equity filed by appellee wife that sought specific performance of the agreement as to future payments and recovery of past payments allegedly due and owing for support, enforced the agreement and found that appellant owed a sum of monies to appellee.

CASE FACTS
In a post-divorce action filed by appellee wife that sought specific performance of an agreement in which appellant husband was to pay weekly support to appellee, the trial court ruled in appellee's favor and found that appellant was obligated for past due amounts for support.

DISCUSSION

  • Appellant argued that the chancellor erred in failing to credit his testimony concerning fulfillment of the support obligation by un-receipted cash payments, but on review the court found that credibility was solely an issue for the trier of fact, and the review was limited to the question of whether the chancellor's findings were adequately supported by the evidence as a whole. 
  • The court found that appellant himself testified that he simply neglected to read the contract before signing, and such testimony indicated carelessness and unilateral mistake, but not fraud. 
  • The court affirmed the trial court's order, finding that under the uniform written obligation act of May 13, 1927, 33 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6, the absence of consideration did not render an agreement unenforceable where a statement that appellant intended to be bound by the agreement was made part of the contract.

CONCLUSION
The trial court's order finding that appellant husband owed sums for current and past support to appellee wife was affirmed because there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the trial court's finding, and credibility was an issue for the trier of fact. The court held that post-nuptial separation agreements were not void as against public policy where the agreement was not conducive to divorce.

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