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Oeler v. Oeler

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
594 A.2d 649 (1991)


Richard Oeler (defendant) and his wife separated and had one minor daughter, Paula (plaintiff). The couple reached a child-support agreement for Richard to pay $900 per month. The order also included a qualification that provided that in the event Paula no longer lived with her mother, the child-support amount would be lowered to $300 per month. The child-support order was also subject to review. Later, Paula’s mother decided to move to Connecticut for an internship. Paula’s mother she helped Paula secure a one-bedroom apartment near her high school to allow Paula to finish her education. Paula’s mother then asked Richard to reimburse those apartment-related expenses. Richard had previously informed Paula and her mother that Paula was welcome to stay with him at his expense while she completed her high school education. However, Paula did not like living with her stepmother, and Paula’s mother refused to force Paula to live with Richard against Paula’s wishes. Richard requested that the court terminate its child-support order. The trial court found that Richard offered to let Paula live with him and that Paula had no justifiable reason for choosing to live on her own. Accordingly, the trial court held that Paula should not reap any financial benefit for her decisions, and the child-support order was terminated. Paula appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Zappala, J.)

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