Remember the girl who sued her parents for college tuition?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by CrazyinVA, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I read that... And he has a point; if the bioparents stay together they aren't liable for college but if they split up they are? UGH.
  3. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    It was in their divorce settlement years ago that one or the other would pay for their daughters education and they made daughter aware of it back then. So , they did promise it to her back then. I can't really argue with that. I know they say she didn't follow her rules at home, but I don't agree with using her education as punishment. I mean, she is going to school and furthering her education so she must be doing something right. Now, if it wasn't promised to her back all of those years ago, then I would feel that they shouldn't have to pay.
  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    A divorce settlement shouldn't apply to a willful offspring demanding an education. The law in NJ is clearly tied to a non-custodial parent continuing to provide financial support to an over 18 child who is going to school full time and therefore is still dependent. It was drafted when college educations were more affordable and in response to a non custodial parent punitively denying his child a secondary education to punish the ex-spouse.

    in my opinion - when Caitlyn moved out BY HER OWN CHOICE - she lost her dependent status.

    And these parents have 5 younger kids (between them) at home and to educate. $16000 after-tax dollars per year is a huge amount of money to be court ordered to pay.

    I promised to pay for my kids' college education too. My difficult child floundered and we said we wouldn't pay anymore. A college education - especially at a private university - is a privilege and not a right.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We didn't. And while ours are not heading in that direction at this point, I'm glad we took the stand we did. We said:

    "We will help out with your advanced education to the extent that we can. As we will not be able to pay all of it for either of you, please plan on either having good enough grades to get scholarships, or working ahead of time to pay for it. If your education is in our home area, and you are prepared to abide by home rules, then we will promise free board and room while you are in school, to the end of your first degree or equivalent."
  6. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    It is understood that most kids move out on their own anyway when they attend college. They threw her out , but does that really constitute them not keeping their word to pay for her college tuition? They were the ones who took it upon themselves to do so, they even had it written up in a legal and binding contract when they divorced. They also told the daughter about it. There was no list of exceptions "if she doesn't do this or she doesn't do that". That's their fault for not having any. Again, I also don't agree with using education as a punishment. That's really backwards in my opinion. I do agree with the judges decision on this one. I know many of us are going to feel strongly about this issue, and my opinion will be in the minority, but it's ok. I just wanted to state my own opinion about it.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The parents should have never put that in the divorce agreement!!!

    If it were me, if I had the money to pay and was ordered to, I'd pay the college TO the college and not send a dime for lodging, food, clothes or anything else to daughter. NOTHING. And I don't know if I'd ever be able to look at my daughter again, let alone have a relationship with her.
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    You know a lot more about this case than I do...I haven't seen a lot of what you are saying. I'd love a link to where you read your info.

    It is not at all unusual for a divorce to order the noncustodial parent to pay part of the college tuition. (Smart lawyers set not exceeding the amount of tuition charged by the University of Missouri.) Actually, the fact she moved from her custodial parent's home might not change that part of the order...that the noncustodial parent pay. In my state you'd still be paying child support too, which the custodial is supposed to get.

    All in all, I'm surprised but mostly annoyed. All states should have support orders stop after high school in my opinion. You can't force intact families to pay...why should divorced parents be forced. And this is the field I work in!
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    She was expelled from her Disney internship for underage drinking, refused to do chores or follow her curfew while living at home and then left home at age 18 rather than follow the rules. And it wasn't part of their divorce settlement - it's a law that allows a DIVORCED parent to sue the the other parent for continued support. And instead the child is using to sue the parents. Both parents are in agreement that they do not wish to pay OUT OF STATE tuition to a school that was chosen without consulting them . They agreed to pay in state tuition so long as the "child" applied for scholarships and financial aid - which she has refused to do.

    Both parents have since remarried and the money awarded is based on both family's combined incomes (much like financial aid) - not just her parents' incomes. That amount supports two households with minor children. Both of her parents are teachers, so these are not wealthy people.

    The kicker is that if the parents were still married, the law would not be applicable.
    Lasted edited by : Dec 11, 2014
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A child can always get a loan, or if a good student at all, grants. I do think it is appropriate to cute off a difficult children education. Let's face it, most of them don't make one semester.

    What a brat. Honestly, if this were my kid I would probably never want to see her again. Yes, even though she was my kid. Who does this to their parents?

    I'm sure we'll hear that she got thrown out the first semester for drug use, not going to classes and poor grades, but, yep, she had to take her parents to court. What a loser. That's really the definition of a difficult child.
  11. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I can't find it now Lil, but it's out there, believe me. It's the reason why the Judge ruled in the daughters favor. I don't know if there was a stipulation in there if it had to be in state or out of state college. I don't think there were any stipulations at all. However, if that stipulation was in there and if it was the only stipulation, come on , that can be worked out. Also, I know for a fact that Disney internship was not in the legal contract. That's something the daughter took upon herself. The Yahoo article that was posted in the beginning of the thread is written by the father and from his point of view only. Also, the grandparents are the one's who got their granddaughter the lawyer to sue the father for tuition. I am not sure if they are the maternal or paternal grandparents, but the grandfather said that the fathers tuition was paid for by his own parents and he didn't do exactly what they said either, but they still paid all of his tuition. That's where they are coming from on it.

    I just happen to know the story. If we are going off principle alone, I do not feel that parents are obligated to pay for their children's college education. Are you kidding me? BUT, I do feel that if they took it upon themselves from the time the child was born to pay for their child's college tuition and promise it to their children, well I think they should be held to that promise. With that being said, it's not the child's problem if the parents had more children that they couldn't afford. That's not the daughter's fault at all and shouldn't fall onto her shoulders, again if the promise was made to her from a young age.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hey...if you can't afford it, you can't keep the promise.

    Many parents have, by life's necessities, gone back on their words and that doesn't make them bad people. I told my kids, when they were young, that we would never divorce and ex and I did. It isn't something my kids ever talk about, but I remember.Have you kept EVERY promise you made to your daughter?

    I don't think any parent can say "yes, I did. Every one."

    If I had told my kids I'd pay for their college tuition when the time came it would not have been possible as I had no money.

    I really think most of the time this would have been ruled against UNLESS it was in the parenting plan.

    At any rate, any kid who wants to go to school, will go, whether or not the parents pay. There are other options. Most college kids on some sort of financial aid or loan. It is hard for most to come up with...what?...$50,000 a year? We have gone to many of these financial meetings for Jumper's tuition and she, like most kids, have grants and loans. We couldn't have afforded even a tech school, which is much cheaper, even if it had been carved in stone.

    Life is unpredictable. No promise is one that is a definite.

    I do not expect this to be ruled all over the country.

    Big deal that the grandparents paid for the father's college. That was a choice they made.

    I'm just glad this has never happened in Wisconsin. And I don't think it would.
  13. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    The mother has a gofundme acct? Say what?

    Well I read it and first she says this:

    "But it did. And I lost. And now I don't know what else to do except to tell my story and hope and pray that there is someone who can help me, someone who can help me make sense of what has happened to the child I raised, a victim of "the age of entitlement.""

    But then after, she says this:

    "When I remarried in 2002, Caitlyn walked me down the aisle and came with my husband and I on our honeymoon. We worked hard to move into a better town where she could transition to the public schools. She was a part of our family in every aspect. She came on family trips to Disney and annual family vacations to Sea Isle City. She has been on excursions to Baltimore, Washington Difficult Child, and Boston. She has been with us as a family to Phillies games, Eagles games, and Notre Dame Football games.

    Caitlyn became involved in various activities once she was school-aged. She participated in dance, track, soccer, cheerleading, softball, basketball, pottery classes, voice lessons, and piano lessons. Once she was old enough, we found a summer camp that specialized in drama and music. She attended this camp for 8 summers, and also joined their show choir. My ex-husband and I were not one of those divorced couples who had to keep going back into court to decide who would pay for all of these activities. We put our differences aside and did what was best for Caitlyn. We were parents first, and we made sure she had everything she wanted and needed."

    There's your answer lady! I mean honestly. HONESTLY!
  14. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Well of course, if they can't afford it, that's a whole different issue. Life happens. How I understand it is, that they were refusing to pay it.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She's an adult now.

    Anyhow, again, I don't think this spread to other jurisdictions. I mean, most of us gave our minor kids all that we could. I know I did.

    I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to pay.

    At any rate, this child would not be in my life after this.
  16. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I wonder if they were crying poor when they went on all of those trips and vacations.
  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh, I suspect the grandparents are largely to blame for this. But I also think she sounds very much like a difficult child. She's spoiled. She's been given everything. That isn't her fault. But she thinks she's entitled to everything without her having to follow the rules. That is her fault. Unfortunately, the judge just reinforced that.

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  18. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    The mother was 20 when she had her. She & the father married after she got pg & it lasted 2 years. Their divorce stipulation said nothing about a college education - the courts are applying a code intended to prevent a non custodial parent from refusing to pay for education out of spite. A law unique to NJ - that also would not apply if these parents were still married. It's the first time it's been used by a child against a parent.

    The mother put herself through school and is still paying her own student loans off. She was a single mom for many years and works for a living. She makes 67000 a year. In the ruling, the judge to into account the combined salaries of BOTH parents PLUS BOTH step parents. It sounds as though the grown child's stepfather was generous with her and that shouldn't be used against him. She's not a child, she's a 21 year old woman. She was was kicked out of a college internship program for underage drinking. She refused to follow parental guidance and moved out of her house at 18. In the same lawsuit, she was suing her parents for new car in addition to her education. Fortunately that portion was thrown out.

    GM, I cannot believe you think she shouldn't have had more children if it meant she couldn't pander to an ungrateful, entitled difficult child! My difficult child left voluntarily at 19 rather than follow rules. Iirc, you were counting the days until you could gain independence from your own difficult child. Under these guidelines, your difficult child could sue you for the price of a college education and her living expenses and still treat you terribly.

    My easy child is a junior in college and doing well and I'd take a second and third job to make sure he could stay in school. He also earned a partial scholarship and he works while in school. He will graduate on time next spring.. Under the same token, my difficult child got a drinking ticket his freshman year, dropped classes, floundered - barely earning a 2.0, became totally disrespectful to my husband and me and broke my heart. I'd leave the country before I'd let any judge order me to pay a penny towards his college education. My boys are 2 years apart, had the same upbringing, ate the same dinners, shared bunk beds and I reserve the right to choose how I will support them financially as adults.

    It's not a birthright.
    Lasted edited by : Dec 11, 2014
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Since when does a STEP-parent's income count for anything? Step parents have no rights, no responsibilities. That part really confuses me.
  20. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    You got me questioning my own memory, but I am pretty sure that the divorce stipulation did have the college education included. In New Jersey and I think a few other states, it automatically goes in now. At the time, they did not have a problem with the idea paying for her college, this is when the daughter was under five years old.

    Yes, believe me I know this. As I said, I have been reading about this story for about a month now and something strikes me really fishy about the parents and from what I read, I really don't like them as people. I find them to be hypocrites. The mother admitted in that gofundme article that she is drowning in debt (from long before this whole college tuition thing popped up) and also STILL is paying off her own student loans. She is crying the blues about this, but yet, by her own words, spent tons of money on vacations and other extravagant things. I'm going to come right out and say it, I think these people are narcissist in the highest order. So I've had my preconceived notions for a while now. Also, as I said before, I do not believe a parent is responsible to pay college tuition, but if they PROMISE it to their child from a young age, yes, I am going to feel a bit different about it and I also don't believe with-holding education in any form is an appropriate punishment at all. Sorry, I just don't. From what I heard, the girl is going to college and attending, getting good grades. She's trying to do the right thing by going to college. The way the parents are acting, they are acting as if she is trying open a meth lab.

    My opinions on this matter is stricly situation based. If the parents never promised her to pay for her education from an early age, I would have said all the same things you all are saying to the Tee.