It is common for the parents of young children when entering a divorce settlement agreement to defer until the children approach college age the determination of the parents’ obligations to contribute. The language chosen to express that deferral may be significant.
The recent decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Conroy v. Hacker, lets us know the agreement language is significant. But we are left asking what would have happened without it.
In Conroy, the parties were married in 1991 and were the parents of two children. Their 1999 divorce judgment incorporated, but did not merge, a 1998 separation agreement. As relevant here, the separation agreement stated: