On March 4, 2014, Rachel Canning decided to sue her parent for child support and money to assist her in paying for her college tuition. Rachel is currently living in New Jersey and is 18 years old, which in most cases would make her unable to be entitled to any financial assistance from her parents since in most states, children become emancipated when they turn 18 and are legally considered to be adults. However, New Jersey is a state in which the courts do not automatically emancipate individuals when they reach the age of 18.
Judge Peter Bogaard is the judge overseeing the case, and has denied any immediate financial assistance to be granted to Rachel from her parents, since it is not an emergency situation that Rachel is in. At the time when the case was filed, Rachel was living with her best friend’s parents (who are covering the cost of the lawsuit against her parent) and she currently has all her needs met since she has a job and the high school she was attending is covering the cost of Rachel’s last semester in high school.
Judge Bogaard has ordered Rachel and her parent to return to court on April 22, 2014 in order to determine if any financial assistance should be granted to Rachel from her parent. In accordance with making his decision, Judge Bogaard will consider the following:
- How much money Rachel is asking for
- How able her parent is to pay the amount being asked for
- Rachel’s commitment to higher education
- The school’s reasonableness regarding the cost and what kind of education Rachel would get in exchange for the cost of the schooling
- Rachel’s financial means
- How much Rachel can receive from financial aid from the government in loans and grants
- Rachel’s relationship with her parent
Once all of these things are considered by Judge Bogaard, and both attorneys have had a chance to present their case, then a final decision will be made as to whether or not Rachel will receive part or all of the financial assistance that she is asking for from her parent. The decision may also be dependent upon whether or not Judge Bogaard decides to consider Rachel to be emancipated or not, since New Jersey is a state in which children are not automatically emancipated when they turn 18 years of age. If the Judge decides that Rachel is emancipated, she may not receive any financial assistance for college from her parent, since she will legally be considered to be an adult and will not necessarily be entitled to any financial assistance from her 18th birthday on.
For more information about different states emancipation laws, visit montesfamillylaw.com, or consult with an attorney.
Guillen, Linda. “Teen Sues Parents For Financial Support and Tuition.” Nolo.com. Nolo, 15 Mar.
2014.Web. 24 Feb. 2016.