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

Comments (33)

Don’t have children!

Mar 04, 2014 7:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Don’t have children!

Mar 04, 2014 7:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JeanHonnete wrote:

Sounds like the petite chienne wants it both ways. Play the drunken party animal AND get mom and data to pay the bill.

Mar 04, 2014 8:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dfbowman wrote:

If the courts find for this kid, I hope they include that she must follow her parents rules. First time she breaks them, she is out of there and emancipated. What a little brat they’ve raised.

Mar 04, 2014 9:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TFF wrote:

She is 18, a legal adult. Why would they owe her anything further?

Mar 04, 2014 9:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bretz wrote:

The Problem with the parents argument is that they demanded she break up with her boyfriend in order to live at home. Courts do not recognize such limits within contracts, and is it considered an illicit form of coercion.

That’s beside the point, the question is whether parents can be compelled to support children who no longer live at home, but are not yet emancipated. These states require the divorced parents to continue to provide support, and if one of the parents is non-custodial, they must continue to pay child support until the child is out of college, so they certainly can be forced. This case has been a long time coming, because they should not be able to provide intact families with preference over divorced families. It’s necessarily illegitimate.

Mar 04, 2014 9:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse

If you’re a CEO or in a position to hire someone, would you willingly hire this girl? Knowing that she sued her own parents the moment she didn’t get what she deserved? Whatever the result of this case, this girl has tattooed a huge Scarlet letter on her forehead.

Mar 04, 2014 9:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Errata wrote:

Be glad you’re not in socialist Chile, where parents of children pretending to go to some sort of school are obligated to support those children until age 28, and in many cases are not even allowed to contest the matter in a judicial review. The amount that Chilean children can demand is up to 50 percent of the parents’ total income.

Mar 04, 2014 9:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bear87 wrote:

This is lose lose all the way around. The young women needs to decide whether her freedom is more important than the relationship she has with her siblings and her parents. Because if she isn’t careful, she may have neither.

Mar 04, 2014 9:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cookseancook wrote:

The fafsa demands that a student declare his/her parents’ income until s/he is 24. In other words, the government determines a student’s financial aid needs, assuming that the family will help pay. If it doesn’t, that puts the student in a very difficult situation.

Mar 04, 2014 10:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jsheltonjr81 wrote:

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.

1. If the judge had any brain at all or got his or her head out of her own behind, it is clear as day that this condition wasn’t met at all and clearly is an argument against the incompetent ruling given.

“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.”

2. First point it said through college and the child is still in HIGH SCHOOL. Second point in the above statement it talks about the child leaving home as if it was on a VOLUNTARY BASIS which it clearly WAS NOT to me another reason for the ruling to be thrown out as the law doesn’t clearly state whether or not the status of the departure from the home was required or not to be voluntary or not and from the phrasing stated above suggested voluntary departure as clear as day to me.

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.

3. While there may be no legal precedent for intact families, under the circumstances that these married parents had their daughter in a PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOL, which I’m wouldn’t be surprised by had no input on her attendance, could have been equally and successfully educated at one of the many public institutions that is accessible to them and the child shouldn’t be held liable for the choices her parents made on her behalf over minor unrelated family disagreements.

“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?”

4. In this specific situation and according to the article the kid NEVER MADE THAT STATEMENT and therefore the answer to it is a RESOUNDING NO and just the parents attempt to escape responsibility from the choices they have made. It is almost the equivalent of a divorce parent saying I have no more obligation to a child under 18 because I’m no longer married to the other parent or just decided to become separated.

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.

5. Unless his daughter specifically requested and applied to go that private high school that father is just being a poor excuse for a father and is trying to dodge his obligations.

Mar 04, 2014 10:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mikentina02 wrote:

Typical upper class Jersey. This is what you get when you spoil the snot out of your children. She can come home, obey the rules and act like an adult (which she is). Instead she wants to live her life as she sees fit and have mommy and daddy pick up the tab. The sad thing is that the courts will probably rule in her favor and for the rest of eternity parents will be forced to supply their children with Prada and Mercedes or suffer child endagerment suits.

Mar 04, 2014 10:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jsheltonjr81 wrote:

@dfbowman according the law as it is already written if the judge followed that advice that would be legislating from the bench if i am correct and judges are not allowed to do that even on the state level. if i am correct they are to UPHOLD THE LAW AS IT IS CURRENTLY WRITTEN whether they like it or not.

Mar 04, 2014 11:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse

This brat has a mental issue amend needs to be in front of a court ordered therapist.

Mar 05, 2014 12:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
Rambling2 wrote:

Princess Rachel needs to get herself a job to support herself and her education.

Mar 05, 2014 1:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

It’s obvious you need an education, LOL!!

It’s still really the fault of the parents – Spoiled little brat.

Mar 05, 2014 10:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:


At this point I wouldn’t even let her move back home. Wait until this rotten little bitch discovers that there is no free lunch in this world . . . DAMN will she be shocked!

Mar 05, 2014 2:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
kenpruzin wrote:

Spoiled brat needs to be liberated from Mom & Dads rules. Let her get a job & learn how it is to pay your own way through school as many responsible 18 year olds have to. You want to live at home you follow the rules, PERIOD. No discussion. She shouldn’t be allowed to return home just on general principle that she needs to learn one of life’s important lessons that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Mar 05, 2014 3:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:

You and your ilk make me sick

Mar 05, 2014 3:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
prinze777 wrote:

Someone needs to teach that spoiled little brat a thing or two about being an adult. The only thing that your parents should be obligated to do is clothe, feed, and protect until you turn 18- after that, you need to grow up. Plus, if you’re old enough to smoke and die for your country, then you’re old enough to take care of yourself.

Mar 05, 2014 3:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:

Entitled brat should live under a bridge overpass for a few nights. Then her “tune” will change…

Mar 05, 2014 5:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rainbowme wrote:

Abandoned at 18? Er… no left to your own adult devices. I think this kid is obviously just a little spoiled brat. When your 18 your on your own. IF IF you want your parents to ASSIST you in paying college they naturally YOU HAVE TO BE NICE TO THEM NOT TAKE THEM TO COURT.

Mar 05, 2014 5:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
babyowl wrote:

Good. Now maybe she will realize it isn’t so bad at dad and mom’s home…she now needs to go out and go a job. What a brat.

Mar 05, 2014 6:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
babyowl wrote:

Hey people…she is 18, which means she is an adult. There is no emancipation to it!!! As an adult, her parents can ask her to leave if she refuse to follow house rules……has nothing to do with coercion. If they don’t want that boy around, they can ask her to have him or her leave.

Mar 05, 2014 6:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JessMonster wrote:

I think it’s interesting how strongly people dislike this girl but don’t seem to see problems with what her parents have done or not done. When I first read the story a couple of days ago what struck me most was that her parents had stopped paying her high school tuition… in the middle of her senior year.

What they are doing is attempting to sabotage her eduation. The school may be lenient now in allowing her to stay in her classes, but at some point they will get their promised monies and I say “good.” Going “tough love” on your barely legal high schooler doesn’t give you freedom to ignore your contractual obligations to the school.

Also, if you look at other articles posted around, assuming they are correct in their reportings, there are more details to the story. One, Rachel has gotten a job since leaving home so she’s not just freeloading at her friend’s house. I suppose that didn’t fit the narrative of the “spoiled brat.” Two, her “behavioral” issues started when her parents separated and then reconciled. If that doesn’t raise a red flag about possible conditions in the home prior to her departure, I don’t know what would.

Finally, as someone with peers from upper middle backgrounds who have faced physical and emotional abuse from parents, let’s not pretend that buying your child lots of material things equals good parenting. Dysfunctional families come in many flavors.

Mar 05, 2014 11:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Allaboutlife wrote:

It is apparent that this is from the outcome of bad parenting. 18 years of upbringing that resulted in such a rebellious and ungrateful teenager. No matter how much your parents owe you they dont deserve to be put in such shameful spotlight.
The Cannings have only themselves to blame…..they sowed a seed but did not nurture it to cherish family values. They neglected to teach the child morals instead allowed convenient TV cultures to shape their children. And the father dare tells the world he is dumbfounded by his own daughter behavior which shows how much he knows his own children.
I have no pity for this family, they dont deserve it….

Mar 05, 2014 11:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jbeech wrote:

Our daughter is now 29. From about age 14 it became obvious we needed to begin handling her differently than we had before vice discipline. Why? Simply because she was blossoming into womanhood and under the right circumstances could have easily painted herself into a corner whereby her only option (as she would have seen it though the life-lens of a child inhabiting a grown-woman size body) would see her walking out and holding up her thumb for a lift. I am pretty sure someone would have stopped to give her a ride and thus, to preclude this situation, we adjusted how we guided her into adulthood to account for this new dynamic.

What everyone arguing here seems to forget is she may be 18 calender years old, she may look even more mature than this due to the makeup and hair in her photo, but behind the eyes is still a child. Said child in still in the process of becoming an adult. You simply don’t flip a switch and presto you’re an adult in your thoughts and actions. It takes time, which it seems to me the NJ legislature has in its wisdom acknowledged by setting out a variety of ways to gauge whether emancipation has occurred.

In my opinion, if there’s really any blame to attach, it’s thus; blame may actually lay with an attorney possessed of their own agenda. Perhaps an agenda whereby they’re seeking to make their mark via a high-publicity case. A case, which has a child masquerading in an attractive woman’s body for a client. Said child, whom may be quite easily flattered and cajoled, e.g. manipulated, into feeling and saying pretty much whatever a more sophisticated mind may choose. Thus, perhaps we should wonder instead about the ethics of whomever is possibly behind this legal dispute versus casting aspersions about the child . . . and make no mistake, this is still a child we’re talking about.

Mar 06, 2014 8:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
kracked1 wrote:

Trying to get the courts to get mom and dad pay, what a spoiled and confused little kid.

Mar 06, 2014 4:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RRassendyll wrote:

Stories have mentioned problems between mama & papa. The kid
is reported to be a top student with a life in a better-than-
average school, with a good shot at a good college. The kid
sounds fine; the parents: a typically arrogant, bullying cop
and a wimp of a mom (classic scenario for abuse). The kid is
not greedy, wants very modest support, payment of tuition to
which parents were committed, access to money already set
aside for her further study. Real problem here: Failure of
local authorities to check for more subtle forms of parental
abuse, spousal abuse among other family members.

Mar 06, 2014 8:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AirHead wrote:

“In New Jersey, emancipation is not contingent on becoming a legal adult at age 18 but instead REQUIRES a young person to obtain β€œan independent status ON HIS OR HER OWN.” – such as GRADUATION from COLLEGE, OBTAINMENT OF EMPLOYMENT or MARRIAGE.”
And the FIRST thing is change this law! It was written for full time employment for lawyers, by lawyers. I wonder how many other states have this? I wonder if other parents knew about this? and jsheltonjr81, you must be in the group of the ONLY ones that will benefit by this law, lawyers.

Mar 06, 2014 10:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
drme wrote:

This sucks. At least she found out her parents suck at a young age. You go, girl!

Mar 07, 2014 10:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
FrankSchuler wrote:

There is no information in the article, only a scenario for a bad soap opera segment. What is the full story on the daughter’s leaving her parents? What is the whole deal about her breaking the house rules? If she has “severe behavioral problems” who diagnosed her and what are they? What have she and/or her parents done about them? Any family counseling? How’d she get suspended from school? And the parents: they are blanks here, just a sound bite from their lawyer. As for the plaintiff’s lawyer, if her assertion is at least partly true, shouldn’t the district attorney be looking into the parents’ behavior? Who let’s non-journalism like this get through?

Mar 07, 2014 5:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse

This child definitely has SCES. SPOILED CHILD ENTITLEMENT SYNDROME. Help around the house…do chores…curfew… Oh such tough things to live up to when living with your family. This is the new generation. Yuck!

Mar 09, 2014 11:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.