New Jersey 18-year-old, Rachel Canning, sued her parents for child support in order to pay for her private school tuition of $650 weekly. But where is she now? Rachel had moved out of her parent’s home to stay with a friend’s family because she alleged that her parents were abusive, and that they contributed to an eating disorder she had developed.
Rachel’s parents stated that she left home of her own accord because she was unwilling to follow their rules, their imposed curfew, or to rethink a boyfriend that they didn’t think was good for her.
The Judge denied Rachel’s request for her parents to pay, stating that Rachel was emancipated, and therefore outside their “sphere of parental influence”.
Rachel has since returned home to live with her parents, and ended up filing a TRO (temporary restraining order) against the boyfriend her parents had previously disapproved of. All of this shows that most family law cases are not as simple as they may first seem.
The Parental Struggle
Parenting a teen can indeed become a power struggle. Truly, when children and parents end up playing out epic battles, what everybody needs is a bit more support, and possibly more active listening time. Listening and support might not be being prudently practiced effectively enough in this situation.
Another interesting fact in this case: the father of the friend with whom Rachel had stayed during her sojourn away from home is an attorney, and he appears to have aided Rachel in bringing the case to court.
A useful website that addresses parental strife – and how to find your way out of it – is handinhandparenting.org, a nonprofit organization that offers a ‘parenting by connection’ approach.
Contact Lyons & Associates to Speak With Experienced
Child Custody and Family Law Attorneys
At the Somerville, New Jersey, family law firm of Lyons & Associates, we use our legal experience to make the custody, support, and divorce process as pain-free as possible. We bring a high level of personal attention to every case we handle. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office at 908-575-9777.