Family Law Blog

Teenager Who Sued Parents for Child Support Returns Home

Friday, March 14, 2014

It seems like a happy ending to a case that has provoking discussions on everything from child support to teen behaviour. A New Jersey teenager who filed a child-support lawsuit against her parents, demanding tuition as well as living expenses after being thrown out of her parental home, has now returned home. However, the lawsuit is still on, so this might not be the last we've heard of this matter.

18-year-old Rachel Canning had filed a lawsuit against her parents after they threw her out of the house last year. That action by her parents came as a result of her rebellious behaviour, including at least one case in which she was suspended from school. As a last resort, her parents ordered her out of the home. She filed a lawsuit against her parents, claiming living expenses as well as high school tuition expenses.

At the hearing in court which was widely publicized around the country, the judge called her “spoiled,” refusing to grant her request to order her parents to pay for her tuition and living expenses. Her father however, said that the doors of his home were always open for the rebellious daughter to return home.

As of now, it seems that Canning has returned back to her parents’ home, but her child-support lawsuit has still not been dismissed. This is a case that has strong potential for setting legal precedents, because under New Jersey law, non-divorced parents who are still living together, have never been ordered by a court to pay child support for a child. However, in cases of a divorce, child support agreements will include clauses for payment of tuition expenses and other expenses of the child he/she reaches the age of legal emancipation.