Donnelly v. Donnelly
Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56c does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Connecticut Constitution, regardless of claims it does not treat divorced parents of adult children the same as married parents of adult children. The parties married in 2007 and have one minor child, who is 3 years old. The defendant husband argued that if the marital relationship had not broken down and the family had remained intact, the parents would not have provided the minor child with post-secondary education support, because the wife did not attend college. The court lacks enough information concerning the child's future need for education support, in or about 2027, the child's future academic record and the availability of financial aid. The court decided to keep jurisdiction, in the event that one of the parties requests post-majority education support for the minor child in the future. The husband also claimed that Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56c is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Connecticut Constitution, because it does not treat divorced parents of adult children the same as married parents of adult children. The court did not find any Connecticut decisions that discuss whether C.G.S. §46b-56c is constitutional. In Glenn v. Glenn, a 2012 decision, the Appellate Court did not review the plaintiff's equal-protection claim, because it was not raised at the trial court level. The majority of states that have considered this issue have concluded that post-secondary education support does not violate equal-protection rights. The Connecticut Superior Court was not persuaded that C.G.S. §46b-56c, which only requires education support if it is more likely than not that the parent would have provided support if the family had remained intact, violates equal-protection principles. The court kept jurisdiction, for purposes of entering a post-secondary education support order pursuant to C.G.S. §46b-56c.