• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

New Jersey teen sues parents over payment for college

A teen's lawsuit against her parents is raising questions on whether parents should have to support their kids after age 18.
March 4, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A New Jersey teen's lawsuit against her parents is raising questions on whether or not parents should be forced to pay for their kids' school and living costs after they turn 18.

Rachel Canning, 18, is suing her parents for allegedly refusing to pay for her last semester at a Catholic high school and for her college tuition next fall.

A New Jersey family court judge ruled Tuesday that the 18-year-old's parents do not have to pay her high school tuition. The judge delayed a ruling on whether the parents have to pay for her college education.

The honor student says her parents kicked her out when she turned 18 last October. But they say she left voluntarily because she didn't want to follow house rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing a few chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend her parents say is a bad influence.

"Private school, new car, college education -- that all comes with living under our roof," said her father, retired Lincoln Park Police Chief Sean Canning.

Rachel Canning says her parents are abusive, contributed to an eating disorder she developed and pushed her to get a basketball scholarship. But the parents say they were supportive, helped her through the eating disorder and paid for her to go to a private school.

The 18-year-old is asking the judge to declare her dependent on her parents for support as a student. She has been living with the family of her best friend. Her friend's father is an attorney and is funding her lawsuit. He is asking the parents to foot the bill, which is at $13,000 so far.

The judge on Tuesday denied Rachel Canning's request for attorney fees, but ruled her parents should continue with weekly allowance and "child support" payments to their daughter. The next hearing is scheduled for April 22.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments