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In re Barrett

Supreme Court of New Hampshire
841 A.2d 74 (2004)


Facts

Susan Barrett (plaintiff) and John Coyne (defendant) were divorced in Pennsylvania. The couple agreed to share joint legal custody of their two children, Kathryn and Jacqueline, while Barrett received primary legal custody of the children. Coyne was ordered to pay child support. Subsequently, Barrett and the girls moved to New Hampshire. Barrett decided to enroll Kathryn in the Tilton School (Tilton), a private high school, to provide Kathryn with a more structured and better learning environment. Coyne provided his financial information to Tilton to see if Kathryn qualified for financial aid. However, such aid was not provided. While enrolled at Tilton, Barrett suffered increased financial difficulties due to the expenses and asked Coyne for assistance. Coyne refused. Barrett filed a motion in trial court, seeking an order to require Coyne to pay Kathryn’s tuition. The trial court initially held that Coyne lacked the ability to pay any amount toward Kathryn’s senior year. However, upon a motion for reconsideration filed by Barrett, the trial court included the income of Coyne’s current wife in the analysis and ordered Coyne to pay $8,000 toward Kathryn’s tuition. Coyne appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dalianis, J.)

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