In his decree of divorce, which emerged out of a series of claims and counterclaims, the judge produced a different story of Richard’s first marriage, to Patricia Price, than Richard had suggested in his first legal filing for divorce. According to the judge’s ruling, Richard had left Patricia not because of the discovery of any adultery on her part; rather, he had deserted Patricia “without any reasonable cause.”

The judge ordered that their marriage bonds be dissolved, and (again against the request of Richard’s original filing) gave sole custody of their child Richard, Jr. to his mother Patricia. He set up regular alimony payments of $25 a week from Richard to Patricia, along with a larger payment of $4000.