18-Year-Old Sues Mom, Dad for College Money

Rachel Canning says she was kicked out, parents owe her financial support

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2014 8:13 AM CST

(Newser) – A New Jersey 18-year-old who's been living with her best friend's family is suing her parents for tuition, both for her private high school and her future college. Rachel Canning says her parents kicked her out of the house; she's seeking a court ruling holding that she's not emancipated and remains financially dependent on her parents, the Daily Record reports. Her parents frame the story differently: "We have a child we want home," Sean Canning says. "She’s demanding that we pay her bills, but she doesn’t want to live at home, and she’s saying, ‘I don’t want to live under your rules.'"

Among those rules: returning items she "borrowed" from her sisters, reassessing her relationship with a boy they have doubts about, and sticking to a curfew. "It’s usually after 11 o’clock at night," Sean Canning tells CBS New York. "I know Rachel is a) a good kid, b) an incredibly rebellious teen, and she’s getting some terrible information." Rachel's lawsuit, supported by her friend's attorney father, says that her parents decided to stop supporting her "both financially and emotionally" when she turned 18. In court papers, a teacher says she witnessed an abusive interaction between Rachel and her mother. "My parents have rationalized their actions by blaming me for not following their rules," Rachel says.

A New Jersey teen is suing her parents for college tuition.   (Shutterstock)
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