Appeal from the Order entered January 7, 1986, in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Family, No. F-33-1439 of 1980
Harry R. Mayer, Drexel Hill, for appellant.
Gail M. Whitaker, Chester, for appellee.
Olszewski, Hoffman and Roberts, JJ.
[ 359 Pa. Super. Page 108]
This is an appeal from an order requiring appellant Robert C. Turley to continue to pay child support for his 19-year-old son. The primary question presented is whether the duty to support a college-age child continues even though the child attends a commercial art school rather than a college. On this record, the trial court correctly determined that appellant must continue his support payments. Accordingly, we affirm the order of the trial court.
Appellee Robert Charles Turley, Jr. was born in December, 1966. He has lived with his mother, appellee Carol Ann E. Kopp, since her divorce from appellant in 1971. Appellant is presently under a consent order to pay $40.00 a week for the support of his son. This controversy arose after Robert's high school graduation in May, 1985, when appellant filed a petition to terminate the support order, which was denied. Appellant appeals from the denial of his petition and the order directing the continuance of the payments.
The record establishes that Robert was tested by a school psychologist in August of 1981. It was then determined that he was a learning disabled youngster with a deficiency in language skills, but possessing average to above average non-verbal skills. The psychologist testified that Robert was tested in the commercial art area, after which it was apparent that Robert showed consistent strength in visual motor skills. The trial court accepted the psychologist's conclusion that Robert could successfully complete a course of education at a commercial art school, and that he could become gainfully employed in that field.*fn1 Since his graduation from high school, Robert has been attending the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia.
[ 359 Pa. Super. Page 109]
In Fee v. Fee, 344 Pa. Super. 276, 279, 496 A.2d 793, 795 (1985), this court restated the standard of review applicable in child support cases:
On appeal, a trial court's child support order will not be disturbed unless there is insufficient evidence to sustain it or the court abused its discretion in fashioning the award. Commonwealth ex rel. Robinson v. Robinson, 318 Pa. Super. 424, 465 A.2d 27 (1983); Downie v. Downie, 314 Pa. Super. 548, 461 A.2d 293 (1983). An abuse of discretion is not "'merely an error of judgment, but if in reaching a conclusion the law is overridden or misapplied, or the judgment exercised is manifestly unreasonable, or the result of partiality, prejudice, bias or ill-will, as shown by the evidence or the record, discretion is abused.'" Boni v. Boni, 302 Pa. Super. 102, 109, 448 A.2d 547, 550 (1982) (citation omitted); Commonwealth ex rel. Darling v. Darling, 300 Pa. Super. 62, 445 A.2d 1299 (1982).
Moreover, in Lederer v. Lederer, 291 Pa. Super. 22, 24-25, 435 A.2d 199, 200-201 (1981) the court wrote:
It is settled law in Pennsylvania that in absence of an agreement to educate "a father has no duty to aid in providing a college education for his child, no matter how deserving, willing or able a child may be, unless the father has sufficient estate, earning capacity or income to enable him to do so without undue hardship to himself." Emrick v. Emrick, 445 Pa. 428, 430-431, 284 A.2d 682 (1971); Hutchison v. Hutchison, 263 Pa. Super. 299, 300, 397 A.2d 1218, 1219 (1979). However, a support order may be entered against a parent for a child's college education, even in the absence of an agreement to support the child ...