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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. POLLY M. STUMP v. RICHARD CHURCH. APPEAL POLLY M. STUMP (09/21/84)

filed: September 21, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA EX REL. POLLY M. STUMP
v.
RICHARD CHURCH. APPEAL OF POLLY M. STUMP



No. 03314 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Berks County, Criminal Division, at No. 1331-S-1969.

COUNSEL

Bernard Mendelsohn, Reading, for appellant.

Jeraldine D. Kozloff, Wyomissing, for appellee.

Spaeth, President Judge, and Brosky and Beck, JJ.

Author: Brosky

[ 333 Pa. Super. Page 168]

The issue presented to us in this appeal is whether the father of an eighteen year old high school graduate has a duty to provide his son with support so as to enable him to attend a private preparatory school on a post-graduate basis.

The parties were married in November, 1962. Two children were born of the marriage: Peter James in October, 1963 and Robert Frederick in June, 1965. Mrs. Stump and Mr. Church were separated in 1970 and entered into an agreement which provided that appellee Mr. Church would pay $120.00 per week for the support of his sons.

The agreement was made part of an order of court and remained in effect until 1975 when it was modified to require appellee to pay only $60 per week because he was having financial difficulties.

In 1977 Mr. Church apparently began to again pay $120 per week although he was not directed to do so by an order of court until 1980.

In October, 1981 appellee sought a reduction in the support order to $60 per week because he alleged, Peter had reached the age of eighteen, had graduated from high school and was no longer entitled to support.

Mrs. Stump answered Mr. Church's petition by claiming that Peter was a full-time student, pursuing post-graduate studies at a preparatory school in Maine. Mrs. Stump filed a cross-petition seeking an increase in support on the grounds that her children's expenses and former husband's income had both increased.

A hearing officer recommended that support be continued for Peter and that the amount be increased to $75 per child per week. Mr. Church filed exceptions to the hearing officer's recommendations and following hearing the lower court sustained the exceptions, directing ...


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