NJ Teen Sues Parents for Financial Support

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by alongfortheride, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    With all due respect, it seems as though that young woman is not a easy child. I say that because Duckie is a high honor student, an athlete, a gifted musician and is also a difficult child. She is a different person at school to a point where I doubt her teachers would believe her behavior at home. I feel and relate with those parents and believe it is very possible that my family may go through the same issues as Duckie gets closer to adulthood.
     
  2. Absolutely. I think the key to this family issue may be the unsuitable boyfriend. It will be interesting to see how the court rules. Apparently there is precedence for holding the parents responsible past the age of 18. I think FAFSA rules for emancipated youth is why she is seeking to hold them responsible for the college tuition. Even so, I don't think that you can force a parent to pay for school.
     
  3. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    OMG. I think the key here is the interloping father of her classmate. Who the H*** does he think he is???
     
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    The way courts are today, I have a feeling she will win. If she does, this will set a precedent and parents all over will be going thru these ridiculous law suits.

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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I can't see her winning. IF she does, it is only one dumb judge. What a spoiled brat, but that is coming from somebody who went to work at fourteen, lied and said I was sixteen, and has struggled to take care of myself through mental illness, divorce and family estrangement and I feel it made me much stronger and more compassionate toward others.

    I don't call this kid a easy child just because she got good grades. I would be ashamed to have a child like her. Even 36 never tried to drag us to court. Honestly, she makes 36 seem kind.

    I do not have perfect children. But none of them would have thought to do something like this and I just feel for the parents here. Lots of entitlement issues with this child, probably because her parents gave her all they could in order to make her life opportunities great, but she is acting just like a typical difficult child when she breaks the rules and is told to either comply or go without. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
     
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Of course I don't know either side's whole version about this case, and even less the truth about what has been going on.

    But I can't say I would have a problem with our laws that basically require us to support our young adult kids till they are 20 if they are at school.

    In this country you can't make a decent living without education and even though only 9 grades are mandatory, next three grades of trade school, or if you choose an academic track, even some college after those three years, are basically the minimum. And because we put our kids to school only when they are 7, they are not done with basic schooling, when they turn 18.

    I made the choice to be responsible for providing for my kids when I stopped eating birth control pills. Had I not wanted to provide for them, I was free not to have kids.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  7. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I have a huge problem with the various laws in this country which completely contradict each other regarding the "age of independence."

    I fill out the FAFSA for pc19's merit scholarship. The scholarship isn't need based, the FAFSA is just a formality that the school needs to meet federal reporting guidelines. In return, the FAFSA gives me an "expected parental contribution" toward my son's education. It's a ridiculous amount of money as a percent of our income and I really don't like the use of the term "expected". Especially when you consider that detailed parental financial information that computes the "expected parental contribution" - is required UNTIL AGE 26 for this Federal Financial Aid form. I know I've complained before, but it incenses me that for the purpose of collegiate financial aid - my son is a basically a dependent until age 26. I also get incensed that I am expected to provide that incredibly detailed & personal financial information to my son for the form. Now, it's for my easy child and I have no concerns about him - but it would really bother me on a practical level if it were necessary for difficult child. And we all know difficult child has taken advantage of his "expected parental contribution to tuition" more than once and basically we threw thousands of dollars into the wind.

    The same holds true for my health insurance. I am so glad difficult child can stay on until age 26 for practical reasons, however I don't like the contradictory definition of dependent.

    Especially when you consider that magically - at age 18 - I am completely and legally cut off from any information regarding my child's health or performance in school. Even High School since both pc17 and difficult child have March birthdays! My sons' universities cannot even tell me if they attend class. If the tuition I pay gets refunded - it is refunded in my son's name, not my own. It's not uncommon at some schools for kids to sign up for expensive meal plans and then downgrade after room and board is paid and to receive a refund check. I can't even dispute a medical bill - even though I pay the insurance & the doctor for an 18+ dependent! It's funny though - they have no problem if I dispute it for husband! PC19 was home last weekend and asked me to order his acne medications for him to pick up while here and the closest Walgreens was out of the specific medication and I COULD NOT ASK THEM TO SWITCH THE RX TO A NEIGHBORING WALGREENS PHARMACY because PC19 is over age 18! (H called and said he was easy child and they switched it)

    Also, difficult child has not legally changed his address to his apartment. Accordingly, I cannot remove him from our car insurance even though he doesn't have a car and he hasn't slept here since Christmas eve. Technically, our homeowners or car insurance could have to pay if he were to get sued. (We are working on a solution)

    I know in some states with strict eviction laws - you cannot allow your child to stay a day past their 18th birthday or you risk having to evict them under eviction laws which require a court order and can take months. I don't know if that's what happened here - but that could be a reason to ask a child to leave at age 18. How many times have we seen our board sisters held hostage in their own homes by a difficult child hell bent on creating havoc?

    It's the HYPOCRISY of these laws that bothers me the most. FERPA and FAFSA should have equal standards. Same with HIPAA and Health Insurance. They are either our dependents or they are not. The law shouldn't have it both ways.
     
    Lasted edited by : Mar 4, 2014
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Thank goodness for a judge with common sense.

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  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I was so incredulous as the details emerged regarding the case. I was struck by the expressions on her parents' faces. They look like I've felt and I am sure have looked. It was a look of shattered grief; and of having aged. I don't think it was a performance. The way they looked felt so familiar. I've seen that face looking back at me in my own mirror. Of course, my difficult child hasn't sued us but that outward display of "how did we get here and is this really my beloved child? The baby I held & rocked and cherished?" And the wear and tear on our marriage and our finances and our very selves?

    I read the excerpt of the email between her and her father. That her dad said she needed to adhere to rules if she wanted to come back home, basically follow the rules, dump the bad influence boyfriend and attend counseling - they had made her the appointments! Apparently that was too rigorous for her and now she thinks they need to support her lifestyle? (link to email) http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/03/04/article-2573165-1C0A0C9E00000578-114_634x753.jpg
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/03/04/article-2573165-1C0A0C9A00000578-401_634x728.jpg

    At our therapist's advice, we created a set of standards for living in our home to give to our difficult child. Nothing outrageous but a necessary set of guidelines to put us back in charge of the way we live in our house. It was especially important with 2 younger siblings watching every move. It wasn't very different from the email above - 19 yo difficult child first agreed, then moved out 2 months later, moved back in 2 days later and sat at our table and told us "how it would be" if he agreed to move back in... as though he was doing US a favor ... basically he did what he wanted, when he wanted, we gave him free reign, a car, an allowance and kept our mouths shut and expected nothing in return. It reminds me so much of this girl but at least our difficult child moved out and he didn't sue us. I can't even fathom the audacity and I know I am projecting too much, but I feel so bad for her parents. They may have played a part - haven't we all? - but this sense of entitlement and rules not applying and the chaos that accompanies it... the constant battle of wills. Oh no, no thank you... I do not want to go back there.

    And we too had to deal with other parents welcoming our difficult child with open arms, moving him into their home (they live on our very street about a 1/2 mile away!) and painting us as the unreasonable ones... doing nothing to help heal our family, and yes - they washed their hands of our difficult child after their daughter tired of him, a year later. I NEVER offered to pay them a penny toward his upkeep and I would be incensed if they thought I should have done so. I am sure she will wear out her welcome as a guest once she finishes HS.

    The whole thing is really getting to me - the very idea that her parents owe her $650 a week plus HS & College tuition after she misbehaved so badly - stole from them, came home drunk, cut school, got suspended?

    I am taking this too much to heart. But their faces really got to me.

    (Link to entire article on Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...usly-hits-claims-drove-home-drunk-3-30am.html)
     
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  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She won? I thought she lost.

    If she won, and I was Dad and Mom I'd be tempted to pack up, move to a more conservative state, and fight it. The kid can't get a job and try to get scholarships or financial aid? What a brat (I repeat). Maybe I'd go to Alabama and have her try to force the issue there. Even Wisconsin...this is what makes Americans not want to go too liberal and I do understand it. I take care of my kids very well, but if they don't follow my rules, they don't get the benefits they get when they do. I should say did because they are all grown up now.

    I had children, with the expectation that we would be close and there for one another forever, but ideals can change when circumstances change. I simply refused to help my beloved daughter kill herself by supplying her with any money while she was using drugs. I knew I couldn't stop her drug use, but at least I didn't have to think that my allowance help fund her possible death. I'm glad the laws in our country give parents a lot of latitude. We certainly made sure she had the basics, but nothing extra. When she wanted to go to Cosmetology School, in which she got straight A's even while using cocaine, we helped her find the funding so that she didn't owe anything when she graduated. We did not give her a dime when she finally blew it on Chance #100 and we found her having a big drug party with her druggy friends in our home. Now that she is all straightened out???? Heck, I send her money from time to time and I am spoiling my future granddaughter silly!!!! We have a great relationship. I WANT to do things for her, knowing that even if I gave her not a penny, she would still be in my life by her own desire.

    I do not think, and am grateful for, the laws in our country that don't force us to support grown children over eighteen who hit us, rob us, do illegal things in our homes (that can get us arrested), and that we get to decide our own rules in our own families. I'm not one of those people who are afraid of government, but I sure don't want the government in my living room telling me how I have to deal with a dangerous, impudent, lazy, drug using or just plain mean grown adult child.

    I agree that there is a lot of ??? in what is legal age, but I sort of like it being eighteen. PCs are pretty settled at eighteen (Jumper is so incredibly grounded and mature at seventeen). difficult children are so difficult and so big and strong by eighteen that if the legal age of letting go was twenty one, a lot of parents would get beaten up and stolen from in their own homes because of having to house these adult kids until that age.

    Most difficult children do not go to college. Well, they may START in college, but usually they stop attending classes or drop out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  11. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Signorina, this case has really gotten to me in a very anger producing way. My son wanted us to move his druggy girlfriend into our house. He said that he would follow the rules of the house on condition that we accept her. A couple of outsiders picked him up and moved him and her into their home. This while we were trying to get him into a treatment center! The nerve of those strangers!

    Our son now realizes that he made a big mistake, the girlfriend accused him of domestic abuse. We, the parents, had to foot his legal fees.

    I wouldn't be surprised if daughter pulled some legal moves on us. She's very manipulative.
     
  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thanks 3 Shadows - it has really struck a chord with me because it's so familiar. The skeptic in me also wonders what happens if the daughter wins - in the US - homeowners insurance often pays out liability claims; so I wonder if this could be part insurance scam for the excess liability.

    But it's all so damn familiar and I hate the empowerment of entitled kids.
     
  13. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    I haven't read much about the whole story, just bits and pieces. But WOW what a spoiled difficult child. She thinks her parents owe her because she can't follow their rules in their home. I sure hope she does not win this case, otherwise several kids will attempt. I would move away as fast as I could.


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  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think that the judge temporarily ruled against her saying there was not enough proof but he will revisit the case next month.

    This girl was never a easy child. She has been suspended from school a couple of times, been involved in discipline issues at school, stayed out till 3:00am with an unsuitable boyfriend, and was verbally abusive to her parents. I read an email that she had sent her mother that had been posted online and I swear I would have thought my difficult child had sent it in one of her worst moments. The parents also have phone calls of her verbally abusing them.

    She reminds me so much of my difficult child. My difficult child was an honor's student who completed one year of college her senior year of high school through a joint enrollment program. Her teachers loved her and are shocked today when they hear about the things we went through at home with her during that time.

    I feel so sorry for her poor parents. The girl is actually demanding $650 a week in support along with other things. The lawyer representing her is manipulating her and causing much more harm than good. I don't see how this family can ever get past being dragged through the press and re-establishing a relationship some day.

    The only good news is that in the comments that I am reading in response to articles about the story, the parents are getting overwhelming support. The girl is being seen as an entitled brat.
     
  15. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Check out what Dave Ramsey has to say about it ...

     
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Honestly, this judge is not the norm. Most would have thrown her out on her buttocks. I still think the answer is for parents to pack up and move to some very conservative southern state. The father must be a good wage earner and could probably get another job.

    When I told Jumper about it, she said, "What kind of idiot sues her own parents?"
     
  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child would have done it if she thought it would work. Luckily, at 28, she doesn't have a leg to stand on.
     
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My understanding is that he ruled against the weekly support and private school tuition. He will rule on the funds her parents put aside for college in a few weeks.

    SuZir~ Part of the problem is that she expects the parents to support her lifestyle that includes drinking. It doesn't stop there, though, because the parents could be sued if they are supporting her financially and she hurts someone or damages their property.
     
  19. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    We parents are hostages in this society, damned if we do, damned if we don't.
     
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