Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

NJ teen loses first legal battle to make parents pay for education

Posted by on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:35 AM
  • 40 Replies

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/05/us-usa-familyfeud-newjersey-idUSBREA2401C20140305

Article:

NJ teen loses first legal battle to make parents pay for education

(Reuters) - A New Jersey student who says her parents abandoned her when she turned 18 lost a first round on Tuesday in the lawsuit she filed against them for school costs and living expenses, a case that could set a precedent for a family's obligation to support a child who has left home.

A family court judge denied a request by Rachel Canning of Lincoln Park, New Jersey, to have her parents temporarily resume paying her tuition and living expenses. He set another hearing date for next month.

Canning, 18, wants her parents to pay the remaining $5,000 in tuition owed to the Morris Catholic High School, where she is a senior, and she wants access to a college fund that was set up for her.

The cheerleader and lacrosse player claims her parents kicked her out of the house in November 2013 after she turned 18, the age of legal adulthood. She wound up living with a friend's family, she said, and the upheaval has jeopardized her educational future.

Judge Peter Bogaard rejected her request for a temporary payout of about $600 a month in support as well as tuition for her private high school, which has waived fees while the case is settled.

In court, the teen said her parents remain obligated to help her with food, transportation, high school tuition and her college education.

She filed the lawsuit last week claiming that she is still dependent on them for support because she is still in school and not yet legally emancipated under state law.

"They left her high and dry because they didn't want to pay," attorney Tanya Helfand told the court. "Now at the age of 18 is not the point to do this."

Her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, said their daughter left home voluntarily, telling the court that she had severe behavioral problems, including underage drinking, and had been suspended from school.

In court papers, they said she did not want to follow the rules of the house that included doing chores and a curfew.

In New Jersey, emancipation is not contingent on becoming a legal adult at age 18 but instead requires a young person to obtain "an independent status on his or her own" - such as graduation from college, obtainment of employment or marriage.

Family law experts in New Jersey say Canning's case might set legal parameters on whether non-divorced parents in the state are obligated to pay for their children's college education and provide other financial support after the child has left home.

New Jersey is one of several states that require divorced parents to pay for their children's education through college, or legal emancipation, said William Laufer, a family law expert in New Jersey. So far, there is no parallel decision for intact families.

"This case is certainly unique," Laufer said. "The question is, a kid at the age of 18 says he or she is moving out of the house - do parents have a legal obligation to support their kids until emancipation?"

An attorney for Canning's parents said in court that she was welcome to return home and under the financial care of her parents, should she abide by house rules.

"She can come home tonight. There is no abuse. There is no neglect," attorney Laurie Rush-Masuret said.

Sean Canning, a former police chief in Lincoln Park, told local television station WCBS-TV on Monday he was "dumbfounded" that he was being sued by one of his three daughters.

He called Rachel "rebellious" and said her college fund was not in jeopardy.

"We have a college that's available to her - there's no doubt about that. But it's the equivalent ... of going shopping at a high-end store and sending somebody the bill," he told the station.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Morristown, New Jersey; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Barbara Goldberg, Gunna Dickson and Lisa Shumaker)

If you have a moment, go to the link and look at the pictures. I see a smug and spoiled girl and parents who are extremely distressed at this.

Edited for weird formatting issue.

by on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
GLWerth
by Gina on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

New Jersey student Rachel Canning attends a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri

Sean and Elizabeth Canning cry during a hearing in a lawsuit brought by their daughter Rachel Canning in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri

New Jersey student Rachel Canning (C) is surrounded by her friends following a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri

jcrew6
by Gold Member on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM
1 mom liked this

Entitled Youth need to be made example of.

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:45 AM
1 mom liked this
SPOILED BRAT.

And not to mention she looks like a sociopath.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
greenie63
by Silver Member on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:46 AM
1 mom liked this

The pictures are so telling. Her expression seems almost smug while mom and dad are in tears. I couldn't imagine my children doing something like this. 

Quoting GLWerth:

New Jersey student Rachel Canning attends a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri

Sean and Elizabeth Canning cry during a hearing in a lawsuit brought by their daughter Rachel Canning in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri

New Jersey student Rachel Canning (C) is surrounded by her friends following a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri


STVUstudent
by on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:46 AM
1 mom liked this

I can imagine that they are distraught because they raised such an entitled little brat... as a mom, I want to just slap that smug look off that child's face.  As for the friend's father who is bankrolling this goat rope, well, let us see how THAT unravels...

I was 18 and still living at home and finishing high school... and was acutely aware that at 18, I lived under my parents' roof solely by their grace.  I was a legal adult being 100 percent supported by my mother... you can bet your sweet patootie that when mom said, "Honey, it is your night to wash the dishes" I rolled up my sleeves and washed them... and was home in bed at a reasonable hour so as to not disrupt the rest of the household...

JohnnysGirl27
by on Mar. 5, 2014 at 11:47 AM

This brat needs an old fashioned ass whoopin.

GLWerth
by Gina on Mar. 5, 2014 at 12:08 PM
1 mom liked this

That was my thought too....you can't fake the kind of distress her parents are obviously in and she doesn't even look phased by this at all.

And really? 600 dollars a week?

Quoting greenie63:

The pictures are so telling. Her expression seems almost smug while mom and dad are in tears. I couldn't imagine my children doing something like this. 

Quoting GLWerth:

New Jersey student Rachel Canning attends a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri

Sean and Elizabeth Canning cry during a hearing in a lawsuit brought by their daughter Rachel Canning in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri

New Jersey student Rachel Canning (C) is surrounded by her friends following a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS-Carlo Allegri


paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Mar. 5, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Good.

owl0210
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2014 at 12:22 PM
1 mom liked this
She's an asshole.
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Mar. 5, 2014 at 12:32 PM

In New Jersey, emancipation is not contingent on becoming a legal adult at age 18 but instead requires a young person to obtain "an independent status on his or her own" - such as graduation from college, obtainment of employment or marriage.

Now that's interesting. I've always felt that 18 is too young to be an adult. I don't know many 18 year olds, myself included, who can live on their own.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)