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LOU ANN SCHMUCKER A/K/A LOU ANN CALDWELL v. JOHN R. HANNA (06/06/88)

submitted: June 6, 1988.

LOU ANN SCHMUCKER A/K/A LOU ANN CALDWELL, HANNA AND JOHN R. HANNA, III,
v.
JOHN R. HANNA, JR., APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order Entered on October 29, 1987, in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Civil Division, at No. 86-483.

COUNSEL

Michael R. Sweeney, Media, for appellant.

William G. Halligan, Media, for appellees.

Melinson, Hoffman and Hester, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 302]

John R. Hanna appeals from the order entered October 29, 1987, awarding $15,402.00 to appellees for the payment of room, board, books and tuition for appellee-son, John R. Hanna, III (hereinafter "John"). Appellant alleges that the trial court erred in concluding that a property settlement agreement obligated him to pay these expenses in light of his son's unwillingness and inability to succeed in college. Further, he claims the trial court erred in refusing to uphold an oral agreement between John and appellant, and that the court erred in awarding appellee-mother reimbursement for room and board. We find no merit to these assertions, and affirm.

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 303]

In April, 1975, differences arose between appellant and his wife, leading to their separation. In anticipation of divorce, the parties agreed to and signed a post-nuptial agreement which provided, in pertinent part:

13. No modification of this Agreement shall be effective unless embodied in a written instrument executed by the parties. No forbearance to enforce any provision of this Agreement or waiver of any breach hereof shall be deemed a waiver of any such provision or right hereunder or of any subsequent breach or default. This Agreement shall not be deemed to constitute a condonation by either party of any act on the part of the other party, whether occurring prior or subsequent to the parties' separation from each other.

11. Husband agrees that he will pay for the college education of the children, specifically tuition, room, board, and books. Choice of said college to be that of the children with the consent of the Husband. During the children's college educational period Wife shall pay to each child Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) per week for spending money, provided, however, that Husband shall be paying support at the rate of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per week for the children as herein provided for.

Reproduced Record at 54(a), 61(a).

In 1980, John graduated from high school. In accordance with the provisions above, appellant agreed to send him to Penn State, refusing his son's first choice, the University of Maryland, based upon its expense.

John left Penn State in November, 1981, after compiling an uneven academic record. He returned to his mother's house and found work. He paid his own automobile insurance and $15.00 per week in rent for a limited period. He attended some classes at Penn State, in order to raise his academic average, and thereafter transferred to Widener University. Widener is appellant's alma mater, as well as his grandfather's, and it is apparent from the record that appellant did not object to Widener as a choice of college.

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 304]

At some point, appellant and John entered into an oral agreement limiting the father's financial obligation to $4,000.00 per year for John's college education. On or about March 11, 1983, appellant presented John with a document attempting to alter the post-nuptial agreement by providing that appellant's obligation for educational expenses would be limited to $4,000.00 per year. John signed the document, but testified he felt pressured to do so. Appellee-mother, also ...


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