Monday, August 11, 2008

Superior Court 8/11/08 - SHARON L. STYLE v. RONALD C. SHAUB

No. 1250 MDA 2007 2008 PA Super 184 Atlantic: n/a Filed: 8/11/2008
Appeal from the Order entered June 19, 2007,Court of Common Pleas, Lancaster County,Domestic Relations at PACSES No. 783101907
Opinion by: DONOHUE, J.
Appellant Sharon L. Style (“Style”) appeals the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania dismissing a petition for child support filed on behalf of her adult son, Dustin Charles Shaub (“Dustin”). After careful review, we affirm.

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Our Court has not previously addressed the issue of whether it is permissible to assert a post-majority claim for support after a previous support order was terminated pursuant to Rule 1910.19(e). Our decisions in this area have all addressed the uninterrupted continuation of support after age 18, see, e.g., Com. ex. rel. Cann v. Cann, 418 A.2d 403, 405 (Pa. Super. 1980), or a first request for support of a mentally or physically disabled adult child. See Kotzbauer; see also Hanson v. Hanson, 625 A.2d 1212, 1214 (Pa. Super. 1993).

¶ 10 In this case, we first note that the original (pre-majority) child support order was properly terminated pursuant to Rule 1910.19(e). Rule 1910.19(e), adopted on October 11, 2002, provides a mechanism for termination of child support orders when the child becomes an adult. It requires the domestic relations section, within one year from the date when the child will reach eighteen, to issue an “emancipation inquiry” requesting relevant information regarding whether child support should be continued. If no response is received or if grounds are not asserted that would justify the continuation of child support, then the trial court may terminate the child support order without further proceedings.

Although the pre-majority child support order was properly terminated pursuant to Rule 1910.19(e), we do not agree with the trial court that Style was estopped from filing a new request for support.

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