Saturday, November 15, 2014

I'm convinced New Jersey is a shitty place to be a parent...

Remember the Rachel Canning debacle from earlier this year?  That was the teenager who sued her parents for child support and to force them to pay for her private school tuition after she voluntarily left their home when she was 18 years old.  I had plenty to say about that case here on this blog.

Well, yet another case involving an adult child suing parents is in the press.  Meet Caitlyn Ricci.  She's 21 years old and suing her estranged parents for college tuition.  Last time I checked, 21 year olds are legal adults.  Unfortunately for Caitlyn's parents, a New Jersey judge has ordered them to pay for their adult daughter's college education, even though Caitlyn hasn't spoken to them outside of court in two years.  Caitlyn attends Temple University, a school that costs $25,000 a year.  Caitlyn's parents have been ordered to pay $16,000 a year.

I don't know why Caitlyn and her parents aren't speaking to each other.  Caitlyn may have a good reason not to be speaking to them.  Or maybe, like Rachel Canning, who ended up having to take out a restraining order against the boyfriend that initially caused the row with her parents, she's just a spoiled brat.  I do think it's ridiculous for adult children to try to force their parents to pay for their higher education.  If she's smart enough and able bodied enough to attend college and she's legally an adult, she should be paying the tab herself if her parents aren't able to or don't wish to.

I understand that college is expensive.  I'm still paying for my overeducation myself.  Or, actually, Bill is paying for it.  He doesn't have to, though.  He's doing it because I'm his wife; he loves me; and I don't work outside of the home.  We have a good relationship.  If we got a divorce, I wouldn't expect him to pay my bills... certainly not for my education loans.  He doesn't have to pay them now.  I appreciate that he does, but I understand that he has every right to expect me to meet those financial obligations myself.  And I would, if we had a conventional double income partnership.

Caitlyn's mother, Maura McGarvey, has said that she's "shocked" that her daughter would sue her.  I can't blame her for being shocked about that.  It's certainly not the action of a child who loves her parents.  I don't know how a familial relationship can recover from something like that.  Though Caitlyn's parents were only married for two-and-a-half years and Caitlyn lived with her mom, Caitlyn had a relationship with her father.  This isn't a case of deadbeat parents who didn't support their kid when she truly was a kid.

Caitlyn was living with her grandparents-- father Michael Ricci's parents-- because she and her mother had argued over rules.  In fact, it's Ricci's parents who paid for Caitlyn's lawyer.  While Caitlyn claims she was "thrown out", her mother says she moved out voluntarily.  Regardless, given that Caitlyn is 21 years old, she's certainly old enough to make the decision to either voluntarily move or be evicted by her mom.... and she's old enough to pay her own damn bills, too.  That's what being an adult is all about.  When you're young and broke, you have to mind your p's and q's if you are accepting financial help from other adults.

A college education is not a right.  Besides, not every kid should go to college.  College is not appropriate for everyone.  It doesn't serve society to expect everyone is smart enough to be formally educated beyond high school... it lessens the value of a diploma for those who finish and is a waste of money for those who go and don't succeed.

I don't know what the law is in New Jersey or why a person over the age of 18 apparently isn't considered a legal adult,  but I think it's bullshit that these folks are having to pay tuition for an estranged adult child who won't even deign to speak to them.  It sets a nasty precedent for other parents and adult children, too.  In fact, reading about stuff like this makes me glad I don't have any kids.  Someday, when she's older, Caitlyn may be very sorry she did this.



Moving on...

Das Bier ist hier!


Beer advent calendars...  what a concept!


        

  

  

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