The future of parent-child relationships
The following shouldn't be surprising given the rising number of adult children still living with mommy and daddy. The sense of entitlement of today's young people plus the poor prospects for jobs, makes some youngsters desperate enough to take extreme actions.
A high school senior at Morris Catholic High School in New Jersey’s suburban sprawl is suing her parents because, she claims, they threw her out of the house when she turned 18 and have refused to pay for her college education.
The plaintiff in the novel lawsuit is Rachel Canning, reports the Daily Record of Parsippany, N.J. She is a cheerleader, a lacrosse player and an honor student. She wants to major in biomedical engineering.
Canning filed her lawsuit in New Jersey family court against her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning.
In the lawsuit, Canning claims that her parents cut her off when she turned 18 and that they have been mean to her. She has also claimed abuse, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of abuse other than a yelling match a school official witnessed between Canning and her mother.
The 18-year old adult is seeking a declaration from a judge preventing her emancipation into the cold, cruel world under the theory that she must remain a nonemancipated dependent.
Specifically, Canning and her attorney, Tanya N. Helfand, are asking a New Jersey court to force Canning’s parents to pay a $5,306 Morris Catholic High tuition bill that is currently outstanding. Helfand will also ask the court to order the grown woman’s parents to pay for their daughter’s living and transportation expenses for the foreseeable future.
The attorney will also ask the judge to compel the Canning parents to use an existing college fund previously set up for Canning to pay for at least some of her college education, even though the parents say the college fund is freely available for Canning to use for tuition wherever she likes.
Finally, Canning’s lawsuit asks a judge to make her own parents pay her legal bills, which total $12,597 so far.
“I’m dumbfounded,” father Sean Canning told CBS New York. ”So is my wife. So are my other daughters.”
The retired police chief has called his daughter “an incredibly rebellious teen.” He also said didn’t kick her out at all. Instead, he explains, she up and left on her own in late October because she didn’t want to abide by her parents’ rules.
Is this "rebellious" teen just out for some publicity? Or does she seriously expect her parents to involuntarily help her out with expenses and college?
Since the parent's story is diametrically opposite of the one told by the teen, you've got to assume there is more going on here than a dispute over money. Still, you have to wonder at a mindset that envisions forcing your parents to take care of you when you've flown the nest - voluntarily or not. Is this an outlier? Or a sign of what's to come?
No doubt some "children's advocates" are salivating at the chance to make new law. Let's hope the judge in the case has a good deal of wisdom and a hard headed approach to legislating from the bench.