Parents Must Pay Tuition for Estranged Daughter, 21

Michael Ricci, Maura McGarvey are appealing NJ judge's decision
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2014 7:41 AM CST
Parents Must Pay Tuition for Estranged Daughter, 21
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

New Jersey's Caitlyn Ricci appeared to take inspiration from Rachel Canning when she sued her parents for college tuition earlier this year—but Ricci won. The 21-year-old hasn't spoken to her divorced parents, Michael Ricci and Maura McGarvey, since February 2013, when she moved out of her mother's home and in with her paternal grandparents. Those grandparents are the ones who paid for her lawyer, 6ABC reports. The judge cited a New Jersey legal precedent that states divorced parents bear responsibility for their child's college education, regardless of that child's age, in ordering the parents to pay $16,000 toward Ricci's tuition at Pennsylvania's Temple University in this and future years. The parents haven't paid and are appealing.

"When he ruled that way, I said there is no way she is getting anything from me until we establish some kind of a relationship again," Ricci's dad says. Her mom has plenty to say, by way of a lengthy blog post titled "The Age of Entitlement," in which she describes Ricci as a teen who often drank (and was kicked out of the Disney College Program for drinking) and who "chose to move out" instead of following their rules, which included that she work, do chores, and register for summer school: "The court did not seem to care that ... we told her repeatedly that we simply cannot afford out-of-state tuition." Ricci's lawyer tells a different story, saying that the "nicest thing" her parents have said about their child is that she's a "spoiled brat." He claims McGarvey kicked her out and tells the Washington Post Ricci "desperately wants her family back." (In other tuition news, we've overlooked a major student-debt problem.)

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