Parents legally are on the hook to support kids after they turn 18. Oh my, goodness.

I can’t believe what I’m reading. I’ve always understood that once a kid was 18 they were on their own. Sure, I continue to help out my loving and courteous daughters but it’s entirely voluntary because I care about them.

Now the law is saying we’re on the hook until some asshole judge says we’re not? :eek:
Some rebellious daughter that tells you to F off while she shacks up with a guy that pimps her out? We’re supposed to be on the hook for that 18 year old crack loving skank?

This was a NJ state law. I wonder how many other states are this fucked up? This is just so screwed up and wrong.

In this case the girl is just starting her rebellious journey. There’s still time to turn her around. I’m sure the parents are hoping tough love and some hard times on her own will turn her around. Move back home and follow the household rules. Instead she’s suing her parents.

For now, a judge has rejected the spoiled brat’s case.But, this law even existing scares the heck out of me. The repercussions of being legally forced to support a adult child is disturbing. The lawyer even says you’re on the hook for college even after a hiatus. So the kid goes out and gets drunk and stoned for a few years and then decides to make a half-assed stab at college? You’re on the hook?

Putting myself in the parent’s position. I imagine they think it’s pointless to spend the money for college if she’s drinking and staying out until 3 or 4 in the morning. She’ll just flunk out anyway and the money is wasted and her GPA is permanently trashed. Even if she goes back to college later those old bad grades will drag her GPA down.

It makes sense to give her time to experience life without the comfort of mom and dad. Miss a meal or two. See what the real world is like for people that don’t go to college.

It’s exactly what I would have done with a kid that was coming home several hours after curfew, smelling of booze and so on. I’m not putting up with that kind of behavior in my house for very long.

Being an adult means you make your own decisions. It also means you pay the consequences for those decisions.

Related Pit thread.

Hopefully we can discuss this in Mundane a bit more calmly. I’m interested in hearing from some of the legal minds on the SDMB. Where this court ruling came from and how common it is in other states.

If I’m reading the USA article correctly the girl is not considered emancipated at 18? So the parents are also legally responsible for her actions? If she drives DUI and runs over someone then guess who gets sued? Or she runs up several credit card balances. Are the debt collectors coming after mom & dads assets? The legal implications of a non emancipated adult child are many.

in Obama’s America it’s not always feasible for people to be financially independent at 18

why is the age 18 set in concrete? Is there any reason we expect people to be on their own at 18 except tradition

If you’ve raised teenagers then you already know how badly they want to get out of the house at 18. Those last couple of years of high school are difficult for parents. The teens are working part time, have their own money, drive a car, and in their minds they know it all. They are impatient and ready for the independence adulthood brings.

My wife and I were lucky with our daughters. They both got part time jobs at 16 and still kept up their grades. I wasn’t thrilled with some of the guys they dated, but they were decent enough boys. No one brought them home at 4AM drunk or with half their clothes missing. I’m very grateful they didn’t date any guys that tried to turn our daughters against us.

I’m really thankful and proud at how well my daughter’s have handled being adults. They’ve made some very good decisions. I’m sure there are some I’m better off not knowing about. But overall they turned out good.

I now feel increasingly vindicated in my decision at age 12 to never ever have children.

A Modest Proposal:

The judge declares her non compos mentis, and gives her parents custody permanently. :slight_smile:

You’re the one who brought your kids up, so if they’re doing stupid things you’re responsible. Doing that then kicking them out at 18 to fend for themselves is evil, even if it’s not illegal. Saying the kids should take responsibility for their actions but not the parents is ridiculous.

Right . . . which means that even if your kid is exhibiting behaviors that you find inappropriate, you don’t just kick them out of the house and wash your hands of them.

18 is arbitrary. If a person is progressing at a usual pace through school, I can certainly see an argument that maybe a parent can’t absolve him/herself of responsibility for his/her child until that kid actually graduates, regardless of age.

The facts, the important facts…the parents are responsible for the Catholic school tuition for so long as they contracted for it.

The daughter chose to leave the household. She is declaring her independence by so doing.

the college fund is not an issue. parents have said it is hers to use.

Parents are not responsible for college tuition and fees, etc. unless they choose to be.

If the car was a gift to the daughter, it should be signed over to her so she can pay for the costs of owning and operating it (40 cents per mile, at least)

I agree the parents are responsible for the high school tuition. They signed a contract and sent their daughter to that school. They owe the money. Doesn’t matter if the daughter left home.

Same thing with the car. If they gave her the car. Then it’s her car. If they were letting her use their car then it’s the parents car.

I don’t think the parents ever intended to totally cut the daughter off. They’re trying to give her a taste of the real world. Get an appreciation for how hard it is to support herself. Hopefully she’ll return home, follow some reasonable rules, and go to college.

I don’t know why you think this is settled law. Even in just the quote you provided a family law expert says he has never seen anything like it in 40 years of practicing. The non-emancipation at 18 thing has to do with child support and divorce settlements. Its so one parent is not burdened with the entire amount and one gets to skip out. There has never been a precedent for being forced to support your adult able bodied daughter.

She was not kicked out. She left when she turned 18. But she still wants their money.

Which will probably only be ruled on if the school sues them. Then its a contract dispute. I have no idea what their agreement with the school is. As I see it the school can continue to let her go there without paying, can sue the parents for the tuition or they can kick her out.

If its in her name then there is no question she keeps it. If its in one of the parent’s names, is paid for by them and she is being allowed to use it (as I suspect is the case) then she has no right to it.
Remember, this was just a hearing to rule on immediate relief motions. Immediate financial relief was not granted. But the full hearing will happen in April.

Just one little issue with this - Student aid/loans are decided based on your parents income until you’re 25. A letter from her parents saying they’re not supporting her is insufficient for the student loans organizations (at least in Canada) to allow a student to apply based on their own income.

When my kids went to school we had months of difficulties because their father hadn’t filed income tax returns in 5 years and was unwilling to do so in order that their loan applications could be processed. My son spent his first two years of university sleeping on a friends couch on nights when he had classes as both of our homes were an extreme commute from the school (upwards of 2 hours). My daughter deferred her start for a year and when my ex was audited they finally had the information they needed to apply for loans.

I suspect this might have started to resolve that difficulty and being an impulsive teenager who feels wronged, all kinds of other stuff got thrown in there too.

That is the case here too.

This is not right. And I mean that the way Ben Stein used to use it on his game show:

“Isn’t that right, Ben?”
“No, it’s not right. It is true, but it’s horribly wrong.”

Unfortunately if you could state that your parents were not providing any financial support in order to get aid everyone would say that.

Right. It’s not a total free ride provision. Also, let’s all remember that anyone may SUE, it doesn’t mean everyone will win.

I hate that damn rule. When my (now) wife was trying to enroll in school she got hit with that. I don’t think she even knew where her mother was located. She couldn’t tell you the state she was in.

Luckily she missed the age cut-off by ~2 weeks.
I was a vet, so it didn’t matter for me.

So? If the parents are providing significant financial support there’s going to be a paper trail, and that can be dealt with the same as lying about any other source of income. There’s no good reason to assume the parents provide any kind of support unless there’s some evidence that they do.