Do You Have a Financial Obligation to Support an 18Yo?

Updated on March 05, 2014
A.B. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
30 answers

...specifically, an 18yo who disrespects your house rules yet feels entitled to you financing her lifestyle: car, college, etc?

The daughter in the link below not only feels entitled to that, she's SUING her parents to get it (link in the SWH). What do you think? What would YOU do?

...and how do you feel about the possibility that, should the court even hear this girl out much less rule in her favor, you too could be sued on the basis of your principles raising your family?

This is pure insanity, but we are reaping what we have sown...the self-esteem generation, told by every commercial that they can "have it their way", relieved of any and all responsibility for their actions by helicopter parents has grown up. Self absorbed with few skills or motivation, they are in college and attempting to join the workforce. I fear, I really do.

What can I do next?

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answers from Los Angeles on

She sounds like a princess.
I have a low tolerance for princesses.
But I DO think parents have some MORAL obligation for roof, food, safety until she has a diploma in her hand, don't you?
Otherwise, fine line between abandonment and a teachable moment.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

That's funny! I just read this article too.
Its always hard to tell if you are getting the whole story from these articles, but, I feel she is 18 and should be supporting herself. I can almost see the case of them paying the rest of her high school tuition, if it was up to the parents for her to go to a private school, but then she is on her own. If her friends parents let her stay at their house, then good for her.
Otherwise she needs to get herself a job to stay at an apartment and pay for food etc. She might have to go to a community college instead of one of the "premier" colleges that she probably wants to go to. But, you reap what you sow!

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answers from Washington DC on

Once you sign the financial agreement, most private schools require parents to pay the tuition balance whether or not the child finishes out the year or even attends at all!

The parents made this financial commitment to the school not to their daughter and their refusal to honor it speaks badly about them as debtors regardless of their parenting skills.

Edited to add:
Kudos to Julie S. for pointing out how many kids here are redshirted (and will be 18 year old high school students as a result).

The school should take every legal action against them to recoup the money it is owed.

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answers from Boston on

I have only seen a very small article on this that doesn't get into specifics.

Here's the thing...people can talk all they want about how people need to pay for school themselves, blah blah blah but except at the community college, pay-as-you-go level, IT CAN'T BE DONE because colleges EXPECT parents to pay. You CANNOT apply for scholarships and loans without filling out a FAFSA (and sometimes an additional CSS). Those forms all assume that parents are willing and able to pay for college. When a student fills those out, with parent info, the schools calculate an expected family contribution (EFC) that all financial aid is based on. If parents really aren't willing to provide that EFC, the child is screwed.

The only way around this is for the child to be declared emancipated from the parents and that's a tough stunt to pull off in the year before college and looks suspicious to financial aid boards (otherwise why wouldn't every family do this to have their assets excluded from the financial aid calculations?). The parents also have to be willing to forego being able to claim the child as a dependent on their taxes, and the dependent child loses health insurance. There are a lot of issues with being declared legally emancipated from one's parents so to have to do it to be able to apply to college and finance college with the resources of only the student considered is a bit drastic.

I don't think that people understand how hard it is to pay for college as a young adult student and that the situation isn't as cut and dried as it seems.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'd have an easier time responding to this PARTICULAR story if you could link to an article from an actual news source... "The Federalist Papers" isn't a reputable news organization... which is clear from the tone and quality of the writing (ie not by anyone with any journalistic training) or by looking at the homepage list of other "stories" their featuring.

Anyway... that aside.

Do you have a financial OBLIGATION to support an 18 year old? No. But given that the 18 year old is a human being you raised to that point, I'd say you have an obligation to get them to age 18 as either a person ready to support him/herself, or a person you're happy to continue supporting.

Also, one tidbit from this story, they enrolled their child in private school. They have an obligation to the SCHOOL to honor the tuition agreement they made with that institution. Even if parents elect to pay tuition in monthly installments, they responsible for the full semester and/or year of tuition when their child registers for that term.

You MAKE you children follow the rules. You don't given them the option of moving out if they don't like them. They don't HAVE to pay for her to go to college... as long as it's okay with them that she doesn't go.

Just my two cents.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

So here's a smart and successful student and athlete, a young and (I assume) responsible young woman whose parents want to continue treating like a child.
So she rebels.
The parents owe the high school the tuition, that's THEIR debt, not their daughter's.
And sure, they are not obligated to pay for her college, and they can kick her out, that's their prerogative.
I have known a few parents like this. They get so caught up in their rules and principles (curfews and micromanaging sibling interactions at 18?!) they allow it to destroy their relationships with their children and they eventually become estranged.
So good for them, they can look forward to losing the daughter they spent 18 years raising, and they can rant about how ungrateful she is on sites like this. Parent FAIL.
~mom of two college students and a high school student, in other words, been there, done that

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Wow, what a mess. I read the original article (there is a link to it within the link you posted). There is a dispute as to whether the girl was kicked out or left home voluntarily. I am sure there are more details we are not privy to. However...

The girl's parents were planning on paying for private high school tuition. They owe the school that money and I believe they owe their daughter that education. It might be legal but it is ethically despicable that they would cause their daughter to become a high school drop out because they don't like her boyfriend.

As for college. Well, while I am not sure they will legally owe her college but it is clear that they have always planned to pay for her college (they set up a college fund in her name). They led her to believe they were paying (hence her applications and the college fund) and I think it is way too late for them to renege on this promise.

While people seem to believe she can just pay for college on her own, that is very unrealistic in this scenario. Colleges will take her parents' assets into their calculations for financial aid. ALL aid calculations will include her parents' assets and ASSUME that parents are willing and eager to finance their children's education. Since these parents seem to have the assets to pay for college, the girl will not receive enough to finance her education. It is a BIG problem for kids whose parents have money but no interest in their education.

The girl will need to be emancipated by a court for schools not to consider her parent's assets. And even so - if this were EASY, don't you think LOTS of families would already do this to pay for school? After all, you can give anyone a 'gift' according to the IRS.

Reading the article, it really appears that the parents want the girl to leave her boyfriend. The rest of it looks like pretty standard high school rebellion. Based upon her being an honors student with multiple college acceptances, she certainly does not appear to be a 'bad kid', headed for incarceration or anything like that.

I LOVE how people on this site always think they are in the right when talking about how their parents/in laws never liked them or never thought their (now spouse/SO) was good enough. And how horrible it was when those people tried to break them up (or didn't support their teen pregnancies). But now, we all seem to be on the side of the parents who seem poised to destroy their child's future because they don't like who their 18 year old is dating. And she is not even pregnant or engaged. She wants to go to COLLEGE.

What SHOULD the parents do? Ethically (not legally), they should attempt to talk to their daughter and salvage what they can of the relationship. They should be clear that they will not interfere in the girl's relationship and will not even offer advice on it unless they are asked. They should attempt to have a DISCUSSION about her moving back in and what compromises on both sides this would entail. Of course she should be civil to her sister - but let's be realistic. If being mean to siblings on occasion was cause to be evicted many of us would be living on the street. She should participate in the family chores - BUT the flip side is true also. She NEEDS to have the support a family provides. Both sides have failed here - to a very public degree. But MANY people have a horrible rebellious phase in their teens or early adulthood and develop a close relationship with their parents later on. They should try.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I read about this earlier. Both my kids turned 18 while a senior in hs. Our son made some comment about being an adult and that he could do whatever he wanted. My response was "sure, you can and as such, I can decide to not support you since you are an adult". My house my rules.

Was he 18? Yep, but he was in high school and still on my payroll. She who payeth the bills maketh the rules.

I don't know the full story and I don't think we have even a 10th of what is going on in this family. However, I do believe the parents will have to pay the tuition. They made a contract with the school. As for college, I believe princess is on her own.

As for the attorney who is requesting his fees be paid, no way.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I read that elsewhere. My answer? No. She ran away. She didn't want to live with her parents, but doesn't want to be emancipated and be an adult? I also find it verrry interesting that the family she is with will shell out $12K for her legal fees, but wait...wants her mom and dad to pay them back. Either you take someone into your home or you don't. If the court makes them help her finish school, okay. But I don't think she should get a stipend, etc. for running away. If we take in another person, we support that person or that person supports him/herself and works and contributes. She sounds like a brat.

ETA: My SS turned 18 in HS. Early in his senior year. We laid it out that he was still under our roof and had to abide by our house rules and in return we would support him through HS and give him the money we'd saved for college. It was give and take. Even as an adult college graduate, he either respects our home or moves out.

I doubt this is *just* about the boyfriend. And I think that if parents can pay for college, that's great. But they are not legally obligated (unless it's court ordered) to do so.

There's probably a lot going on here, but I also know my uncle did pony up a lot for his DD and she's a brat. He laid out rules for her return to his home when she dropped out of college and she left - left everything but essentials, including her pets. Stopped paying for any of her loans or bills that he cosigned on. He didn't know where she was for weeks. Sometimes young people really are that irrational.

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answers from New York on

I am the parent of an 18 year of HS freshman.

Are you financially required to support an 18? By law? No. But if you are claiming them as a dependent on your tax return, then you'd better. If they are cutting her free, then she needs to be allowed to claim herself.

Things get dicey when you have a "kid" in high school who is an adult. I'm glad that this didn't happen for me - mine turned 18 on graduation day.

First, the parents should be glad that their daughter wants to stay in school, even though they claim that she is rude, disrespectful and all that. I think that they should make it possible for her to finish high school. She is not automatically entitled to a car, college fund or spending money.

Was she raised to be an entitled brat? I do not know. My 18 has no car. My 18 paid for half of her HS ring, because I didn't feel that she was entitled to have me pay for anything other than the basic design. Add-ins were on her. While we have been able to cover the portion of tuition/dorm/meal plan that her fin-aid has not covered, she pays for her own books and we send no spending money. I don't know whether the young woman in the story was ever made to work for anything.

Are the parents treating her with any sort of respect as an adult person, or just the same as the younger siblings? In our house, being 18 does get you certain privileges as an adult. My oldest knows that when she is home on breaks, we don't impose a curfew on an adult, but she's aware that if she's getting home on a work/school night for the rest of us, she needs to come in quietly and sleep downstairs in the family room, and not wake us up. It has never occurred to her to be rude to us.

The part in the story where I stop siding with the parents and feel that the young woman's story must have some merit is the part where it says that the parents wanted her to reconsider her relationship with her boyfriend or break it off. They didn't like the 18 year old's boyfriend, so they decided to withhold car, financial support, etc to make this young adult bend to their will. This is bad parenting, IMO. The girl was still in school and they don't talk about using drugs, so he isn't influencing her to drop out or use drugs, not abusing her, so parents are OVER INVOLVED. Now these parents remind me of the mom and dad in the story about the college student who sued her parents successfully and got a restraining order, because they were stalking her.

Again, since I don't know all of the details of the family, only what is printed, my opinion is just that.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

In my opinion? The parents FAILED as parents. Why?

Because they, it appears, waited until she was in her late teens to establish rules, boundaries, etc.

Yes, their daughter was an honor student - so they obviously focused on studies - however - they totally dropped the ball and didn't teach her about following THEIR rules while at home...under their roof.

Under New Jersey law - she is an adult. Do her parents have a legal obligation to pay the rest of her tuition if SHE VOLUNTARILY moved out of their home??? I guess that's what the court will decide.

Now, as a parent? What would I do? If my child, as a "legal adult" moved out of the house at age 18 - but was still attending high school? I would feel the "obligation" to continue paying her tuition until she graduated.

My girlfriend DID move out of her parents house and into MY parents home when she was 18. She lived with us for almost 2 years. She supported herself and paid my parents rent. I don't know how much she paid them - but she pulled her weight at our home.

It's funky that she chose to live with friends whose dad is a lawyer...I wonder....was he a driving influence/force behind this - especially since he's also including $13K for HIS fees for this???

This is a great way to get money too....your 15 minutes of fame....I'm sure she'll be paid by magazines to interview and tell her sob story....

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

What ever went on in this family is a mess.Of course I blame the parents for not figuring out a way to settle this. Sure the child is immature, even a worse reason for her to be kicked out.

When it gets to the point you kick out your 18 year old senior in high school, you have a lot of problems going on in that home.

When I graduated from High school I was still 17.

I had been working part time since I was 16. But I began working full time that next week once I graduated from HS, to save up for my freshman year , spending money in college.

If I was not going to college, there would not have been any way for me to have just moved out and been able to support myself.

Unless your child is a teenager and almost almost 18, there is really, honestly, no way to know how you are going to react to them becoming a legal adult, but still be your child. The Dynamic is different for each family and each child. You can go in trying some rules that you both agree on, but they will change depending on how responsible and how much you trust them.

Some kids are ready and able to leave, share a place with roommates and take care of themselves.

But if you live where the public transportation is not great (and your child does not have a car, with insurance and a way oo pay for fuel) and most businesses are picking from employees, saturated with college graduates, willing to work for $10.00 an hour, and the rent for a 1 bedroom apt is at least $800. a month not including any of the deposits or utilities, your child will have a really hard time surviving at 18 years old, completely based on their income.

Keep the communication open and fair and help your child learn to compromise with you. Do not make it a battle of who is in control and who is winning, but rather, lets see how we can work on this together so that we are both working towards a mutual goal, while respecting each other.

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answers from Wausau on

The one thing the parents are legally obligated to pay for sure is the high school tuition. They have a contract and should take care of that immediately to avoid legal action from the school.

Another article said the parents stopped paying her high school tuition because they didn't like that the school didn't toss her out. She's close to graduation, is an honor student, and has a scholarship to college which is dependent on finishing high school. In this particular decision the parents are not thinking about what is best or logical, they are lashing out with their hurt feelings and anger.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Sometimes kids fail as kids. Why is it okay for her to disregard the rules of the parents house and then expect the benefits of living in the parents house?

The parents will have to pay the highschool tuition. They are contractually obligated to do so but they may choose to not pay it on a timely fashion which would cause the school to take action against their daughter to influence the parents to pay. They may even decide they will expel her because tuition isn't paid up. Consequences consequences.

The court will hear the merits of this case based on the law.

It costs to be the boss. I think the attorney picking up the case for the daughter may have something to gain if there is any money for college set aside for her. The problem with being young is you may also be naive. You can be smart and naive at the same time.

She's 18 and a legal adult. If she is as smart as she thinks she is, she could always join the military they offer wonderful benefits for higher education and then her parent's support would be a non issue.

If you are going to go pull the adult card don't expect your parents to finance your future especially when you disrespect them and disregard their rules. It's all about consequences.

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answers from New York on

I think the whole thing is a hot mess. They raised an entitled brat and when she turned 18 she decided that she was an adult who would do what she wanted. Then all of a sudden the parents grew a backbone and didn't like her boyfriend and lifestyle choices. Of course it's their house, their rules, their payment to keep her in private high school, their money that pays her car, cell phone, clothes, etc.

I think she moved out willingly to get away from those awful people who were treating her like a child and then didn't like the fact that they stopped footing her bills. Personally I would have continued paying for school for the year but I certainly would have stopped paying for the cell phone and taken back the car. If she had moved into a plumber's house or someone who worked in a factory there would be no lawsuit. But she moved into a lawyer's house so there's a lawsuit.

Maybe that lawyer should have done a free consultation with her before she moved in to let her know that when you pull the 'I'm an adult and I can make my own choices' card there are financial considerations that need to the addressed. I think there's blame on both sides but I don't think the parents are obligated to give her anything.

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answers from Portland on

I don't think either party has the monopoly on 'rightness'.
Reading the article, what I come away with is this:

The parents made the promise to the school to pay the tuition. Their contract was between them and the school. I don't think that cutting off her education at school would be wise. Period.

That said, I also believe that if she is claiming herself as a 'dependent', then she does need to be in their home, living with their rules. I have to wonder what was behind this in the bigger picture: lazy parenting, abusive boyfriend, any sort of other extenuating circumstances? Just a teen with her nose in the air and a "you owe me" attitude? Or something deeper within the family dynamics.

I don't know that parents *owe* their kids a college education. We plan to do the best we can for our son, but there will be the caveat that he is required to work his hardest and do his best as well as being a contributing member of the family in the ways he will be able to contribute. I think that is a reasonable expectation. I also know a lot of people who worked their way through college on their own. My own guess-- if we were in that situation with our son-- we would likely try to get him some help and put his college 'on hold' until we figured out what was beneath the problems at home and how we could do well together going forward.

So, I just have to wonder what is behind all of it. Another article states that Rachel was seeing a counselor and is supposed to be on medication. My guess is that we don't have the whole story.
ETA: I think the concept of an age determining autonomy is pretty ludicrous. There would have been no way in hell I would have been able to stay beyond my 18th birthday if I was pulling that stuff. (I was working after school by 16 and graduated at 17.) Her house, her rules-- and even if I did help pay rent, which I did, that didn't change the reality of whose name was on the lease. Hers.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Weird. What kind of attorney takes a case like this? Sounds like he is trying to make a name for himself. I wonder if the 18 year old will prevail. I sure hope not.

As far as the "bad influence" boyfriend, maybe he is abusive to her and is alienating her from her parents. Maybe withholding money is the parents' way of trying not to enable their daughter's entitlement and showing disapproval of the boyfriend. If she had integrity, she would choose to find a way to make it on her own. If she is the all-star honor student that they are describing her to be, she is fully capable of finding a job and paying her own way through life.

If 18 is not the cut-off age, then what is it? If I were an employer and I googled her name after seeing her job application, I would drop her like a hot potato. I hope she is thinking that one through.

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answers from San Francisco on

I am so sick of this common thread and attitude.
Spoiled kids aren't born, they are created.
I bet these parents gave this girl everything she ever wanted, and when she decided to break the rules, i.e. grow up and assert herself, they kicked her to the curb.
What would *I* do? For starters I wouldn't treat an 18 year old like a child and then be surprised that she acts like one.
I have a good friend who went through something similar, not a lawsuit obviously, but her parents disowned her for not following their over the top rules and now they are completely estranged. So her parents not only lost a daughter but they don't even have the pleasure of knowing their grandchildren.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I heard this from a reputable news source so I know the fact that there is a lawsuit pending is true. However, I don't think we know or can ever know all of the details or background information. Therefore, I'm not going to offer an opinion as to the specific facts of this case other than to say I agree with those who say the parents probably had a contract with the private high school and are therefore obligated to pay that bill; and as an attorney, I think it is very sad that litigation and national media attention has resulted from what should be a private family matter.

I did want to add my opinion, however, that this is not about "redshirting" or waiting to start a summer birthday child in kindergarten. The majority of high school students will either be 18 or turn 18 at some point during their senior year. In Minnesota, the cut off date to start kindergarten is age 5 by September 1. My younger son, with a Sept. 10 birthday, will turn 18 the same week he starts his senior year of HS through no decision on our part. He will have a lot of classmates who turn 18 in September, October, November, etc. of their senior year. Even states with a December 1 cut off date will have about half of their seniors turning 18. I think there are a lot of factors and issues in this case, many of which we will never know, but it is not about what people have termed "redshirting."

ETA: Just to clarify some facts, it is reported that she is suing for her college education, car and general support. In the news article I read there was no mention of HS tuition. My husband, also an attorney, reminded me that if she attended a private HS and her parents had a contract with the private HS she would have no cause of action with respect to that tuition. Only the private high school would have a cause of action against her parents based on any contract or their agreement to pay. Unless for some reason, she signed the contract to pay and now wants her parents to do that. I can't imagine any contract like that where the parents wouldn't at least be required to co-sign.

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answers from Hartford on

I haven't read enough about this to even start forming an opinion, and I don't know enough about either side of the situation. I do know that just because someone turns 18 years old it doesn't automatically make them an adult, especially if they're attending school and are relying on someone like, oh, parents to pay for their needs and yes, some wants, as they have since birth because during college many if not most students don't work full time. Any college students that are working, especially at only 18 years old, won't be working enough to pay their way through life and pay for tuition. When you raise a child to be a student and then decide arbitrarily that you're going to pull all support because you don't like a decision they made in boyfriend that's kind of stupid. They could have tried to work something out but now there's a judge involved.

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answers from Miami on

Yeah, I saw this on Buzzfeed earlier today. (I didn't look at your link, so it may be a different write-up...)

When the girl refused to go by the rules of the household and left, she made a conscious decision to go out on her own. Now here's the thing. New Jersey law will have to be interpreted where this particular case is concerned. I actually think that part of the problem is the actual law... It will be interesting to see if this little gold digger gets her way.

I do want to point out that we don't actually know that these parents fit the bill you are assigning them. They obviously had rules and expected her to follow them. I wonder if the friends she was staying with have a bone to pick with that family and if it's a way of exacting some kind of revenge. After all, the family she is staying with are supporting her lawsuit. They have no business doing this. I have a feeling that they fed her a line here about what terrible parents she has because of these rules. Instead, they should have told her to go get a job and kept out of the disagreement between her and her parents.

If you want to see an example of entitlement and poor judgment on the part of both parent and teen, take a look at THIS one:

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I haven't read the story but feel like a parent should support their child while they are in school. A person who turns 18 is legally an adult. Whether the parents accept that or not is up to them. An adult can come and go as they please. An adult can go do things with friends, spend the night at a friends place regardless if that is a male or female friend. If a parent has raised their child where they've learned to make good decisions hopefully this will be easier for them all.

This is one of the main reasons parents should NEVER red shirt their kids.

Your child will be 18 as a junior in high school. They can come and go as they please as a junior....then you have a whole year and a half of this until they graduate high school.

If they even decide to stay in school. Once they turn 18 who's to say they all don't just drop out of school and go live on the streets because mom and dad can't accept that this person is an adult and able to do as they please.

I do not have expectations of anything except the kiddo's stay in school and try to do their best. They do NOT have to work. They will have hours of homework each day in high school. There is no way they can work and do homework and have any sort of life at all. So no, they don't have to work at all. They are not expected to work during college unless they want to. Again, going to school is their job and it's the number one thing they need to focus on.

I tried working in college and my grades went down. I was very tired mentally all the time and simply found that working didn't help me in any way. I got full financial aid and a couple of scholarships so my campus housing bill was paid along with all my school bills before I got a penny of my money.

As a youth leader in church we'd have meeting with several of the other youth leaders every month. Each and every time we'd ask them what were the biggest challenges they faced they each said kids didn't have time to go to church during the week. They couldn't work on their youth goals, they couldn't go to youth camp, they couldn't do anything but go to school, come home, eat a bit of food and do homework the rest of the evening.

These were good kids too, no parties, no drinking or drugs, each of them graduated with honors and got scholarships to good colleges in hard majors like Architecture, Engineering, Science, Mathematics, and others. They worked hard at school. If they'd have had jobs they wouldn't have had time to even start their homework and have the grades to get the scholarships they received.

So I fully do NOT believe kids in school should have to work. Working 2 jobs is not what they should be doing. School if a full time job and should be treated like it's a job.

If the parents are unable to pay for the kids schooling then they need to make it clear that kiddo might want to take vo-tech classes in high school so they can have an income when they graduate...such as working in a hair salon, working on vehicles, building on a construction company, roofing, and other menial jobs.

I'm sure if they don't go to college because they didn't have good enough grades to get there then they'll just have to plan on the wife and hubby always both working so they can afford even simple things.

SO yes, I do think a parent has a moral obligation to support their child if they are in school full time and at least trying to make grades that are passing.

I also think that if a person is 18 they are an adult and should not have any rules to follow because they are an adult. If they'd been raised right that child would want to be part of the family and help mom and dad because they love them and respect them.

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answers from San Diego on

Oh, HELL NO! The parents have a contract with the HS, they are obligated to pay the tuition. And apparently, they have saved for her college education, so if it is in her name, it's her $. She can use that $ to pay for her college education. But to give her anything more, beyond what they have saved for her, no way! This girl...spoiled, entitled brat!

When did it become mandatory that every parent has to pay for their child's college education? To go into more debt, to co-sign or take out loans for kids who don't even know the worth of the sacrifice their parents are making?

I know of many people who took out 2nds on their mortgages to pay for the kid's college tuition, cars, etc & then the kids either partied through school, had low grades during school or dropped out because it was too hard. The debt still needs to be repaid. I know of families who lost homes, because when the market crashed, they were upside down on their mortgages & were swimming in debt. Oh, BTW, most of these kids came home to live with Mommy & Daddy because they couldn't find jobs that "paid them what they thought they were worth".

Sorry, but if a kid says I'm 18, I can do what I want, I say there's the door. My oldest is 17 & will graduate in June. She is COMPLETELY clear that her future is HER future, not ours. We love her with all of our hearts, but if she wants to thrive in life, with our "safety net" in place, she WILL follow our rules. Or she can move out at 18. Yes, that is harsh. But the only way she will understand, value & feel pride in her accomplishments, are for her to WORK HARD & struggle a little bit. People who are handed everything don't appreciate it. Struggling builds character!

We don't have unrealistic rules or expectations of our girls. For the most part, they have rarely brought home any friends that we couldn't stand. And the one kid I can think of that I really disliked (I hid my dislike & just waited it out)--that friendship crashed & burned, because the kid was bad news. My daughter learned a valuable lesson in picking friends & I never had to say anything, but hold her when she cried about it. I think that is too controlling--to pick my child's friends or love-interest. Frankly, the way to learn about yourself, who you want to be, who you want to be around, is to meet & talk with a variety of different people.

As long as our girls are following our house rules, going to school or work, contributing to our household's well being, being respectful to us & her sisters, she can live with us. If not, hit the road, Jack. Of course, curfew & such would be adjusted to each kids needs. But to treat a 18 yr as an adult, just because she's 18? Get real! Adults pay their own way, for ALL things--car, insurance, rent, food, tuition, clothes, cell, etc. CHILDREN expect to be given everything. The goal of parenting, IMO is to raise my girls into Adulthood.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I saw the story earlier today. If, on it's face, it is the full story, then no. I don't think she will get a dime. However, the media is known for playing up a particular angle and not giving all the information...

Maybe what she is suing for is a fund that is in her name? Or something that is a bit more ambiguous. At least, let's hope. Because otherwise it is horrible that she was even able to have an attorney FILE the case. And a friend's dad at that.
I'm betting that the tact is suing for support since she is living in his house... I know at one time, you had to be 21 to be emancipated in NY state. I don't know what the current law is now.
But, I find it absurd that a parent could be forced to contribute a dime to an 18 year old who voluntarily left their household. If she is considered adult enough to determine where she lives and not be considered a runaway and put into a juvenile facility for running away or whatever, then she is adult enough to not be entitled to parental support. Can't have it both ways.

Those poor parents. They must be heartbroken that their daughter is this twisted.
The update online this morning:

And frankly, from the sounds of it, (unlike what some people have stated regarding the parents' legal obligation/contract with the private HS) the parents may NOT be obligation to continue paying for her HS tuition. I have been a private school tuition payer, and in many, many cases, contracts are by semester. She left their home in October... well before the end of the first semester. If her parents only signed up for one semester at a time, they may not be obligated for any payments to the school after December (which is when I assume the end of the first semester was). Or, alternatively, sometimes there is an "escape" clause, where within a certain time frame prior to the end of a semester, you can terminate any future obligation at the end of that semester.
So those saying they are obligated to pay the school regardless of the kids' actions, b/c of their contract with the school directly, may not have it right, simply b/c WE don't have access to the contract to see what it says. Who knows. Maybe they ARE legally done with the school effective December 2013...

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answers from San Francisco on

No, in this case they have no obligation to support her. When I was in college, I had 3 jobs in order to help pay for books, living expenses, etc. My parents continued to support me by paying tuition, giving me a place to live during school breaks, etc. However, if I had disrespected them or flaunted their rules, they would have cut me off in a heartbeat, and I knew it! Therefore, I was a good kid and (for the most part) walked the straight and narrow. I got good grades and graduated on time. I did have to live with mom and dad for a few months after graduation until I could save enough money to move out on my own - but save up, I did, and move out (and never move back), I did. I'm happy my parents provided me with a safe landing place, but I'm equally glad that they instilled a good work ethic and respect for my elders, too. It's a crying shame to see teens like the one in this article who feel entitled to support from their parents when the child is over 18.

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answers from Iowa City on

Not presently but I will. My youngest will probably be 18 when she graduates high school. I am certainly not going to tell her she is on her own one month before graduation just because she has reached the age of majority.

I haven't read the article so I can't speak to that but there is already a bit of a precedent as far as support post 18 goes. A lot of divorce decrees cover support throughout college and on the FAFSA it is assumed that there will be financial support from the parents.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My son is 18 and in high school. We support him because he is still a senior. He knows that he has responsibilities in our home. He'll be living here for the next 2 years going to community college. He knows that although he is using Dad's GI Bill he has to still follow our rules and help out around the house. He's 18 and doesn't have to ask permission to do everything but basically give us notice and not stay out past 11 or midnight due to us having 9 year old triplets and not disrupting the house late at night. He watches the kids for us when needed and does household chores. We're close, he's respectful and it balances out.

The girl online needs a good arse beating. I wouldn't take her back into my home after when she's done. I'd later reconcile but I would not pay for a thing for her again nor would she ever live with me again. Period.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from Reno on

I was pretty surprised that this girl is doing that. I am 43 and turned 18 while in my senior year. (both my kids will turn 18 in their senior years as well and no redshirting on our parts) I just remember that I was still in high school and what my mom said went. i started getting in trouble in high school but the funny part was I never pulled the I am an adult card. for some reason i guess i thought you became an adult when you got out of high school. Now my husband who also turned 18 his senior year signed himself out a few times because he could.

I think this girl is very entitled but I only know the story I am reading

good question.

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answers from Kansas City on

She sounds like an entitled brat! This didn't happen overnight. But, I can't imagine a judge FORCING her parents to support her once she's graduated from high school.

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answers from McAllen on

I think that moving out hurts her case. The parents should either continue to pay for her private high school or be responsible for moving her to a public high school. That debt was their commitment.

I'm thinking that she might not be suing for tuition if she didn't know that there was already money designated for it. Since there is, she might have a case there.

I don't know if this is so much about her being self-absorbed as it could be about her just being smart and precocious enough to know that she has an argument and wanting to strike while the iron is hot and figure out ALL her options. I couldn't say without any experience with this family. Who hasn't had a "bad" boyfriend? At 18, we tend to be so passionate about our own importance that we can sometimes feel desperate to be heard and validated. We don't always do what's appropriate, and sometimes we push our parents to make certain drastic points that may or may not be appropriate.

I do hope that they can heal and move on from this, though. I hope that each party will live long enough to get to the other side of this and truly love and appreciate each other. I hope that the sisters will get to enjoy sisterhood well into their twilight years and go forth looking out for each other.

To me, this just sounds like a family exercising its options.

PS. I abhor that term HELICOPTER MOM. It was created purely to demean mothers who use a different method to obtain the same things for their children that you want for yours. Such a negative way for us to relate to one another.

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