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COLANTONI v. COLANTONI (09/21/71)

decided: September 21, 1971.

COLANTONI
v.
COLANTONI, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Sept. T., 1968, No. 186, in case of Elvira Colantoni v. William Colantoni.

COUNSEL

George B. Stegenga, with him Philip O. Carr, for appellant.

Marjorie Hanson Matson, with her Sanford S. Finder, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, J. Jacobs and Cercone, JJ., concur in the result. Dissenting Opinion by Spaulding, J. Hoffman, J., joins in this dissenting opinion.

Author: Watkins

[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 47]

This is an appeal by Dr. William Colantoni, the defendant-appellant, from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Washington County, directing him to pay to his wife, Elvira Colantoni, the appellee, the sum of Four Thousand Dollars ($4,000.00)

[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 48]

    for the support of their adult son, William Colantoni, Jr., in medical school.

We are once again called upon to consider the extent of the obligation of a father to contribute toward the expenses of college education, in this case, for an adult son. "The law is now well settled that, in the absence of an agreement, a father has no duty to aid in providing a college education for his child, no matter how deserving the child may be, unless the father has sufficient estate, earning capacity, or income to enable him to do so without undue hardship." Commonwealth ex rel. Yannacone v. Yannacone, 214 Pa. Superior Ct. 244, 246, 251 A.2d 694 (1969).

We think the question raised in this case goes further than any case before us to date. Here we must determine not the support of a minor child in college, but the support of a married adult, twenty-four (24) years of age, who has established his residence with his wife in West Virginia. In other words, we must determine not whether it is a good thing for a father who can afford to pay for the education of this adult son, but whether under the support law of Pennsylvania it is a legal obligation to support an adult emancipated son.

In the following recent cases considered by this Court where the college expenses question was raised, the student involved was always a minor. Commonwealth ex rel. Grossi v. Grossi, 218 Pa. Superior Ct. 64, 272 A.2d 239 (1970); Commonwealth ex rel. Smith v. Smith, 217 Pa. Superior Ct. 1, 268 A.2d 161 (1970); Commonwealth ex rel. Flick v. Flick, 215 Pa. Superior Ct. 35, 257 A.2d 360 (1969); Commonwealth ex rel. Yannacone v. Yannacone, supra; Commonwealth ex rel. Larsen v. Larsen, 211 Pa. Superior Ct. 30, 234 A.2d 18 (1967); Commonwealth ex rel. Rice v. Rice, 206 Pa. Superior Ct. 393, 213 A.2d 179 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Rothrock v. Rothrock, 205 Pa. Superior Ct. 32,

[ 220 Pa. Super. Page 49206]

A.2d 397 (1965); Commonwealth ex rel. Ulmer v. Sommerville, 200 Pa. Superior Ct. 640, 190 A.2d 182 (1963); Commonwealth ex rel. Howell v. Howell, 198 Pa. Superior Ct. 396, 181 A.2d 903 (1962); Commonwealth ex rel. Stomel ...


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