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Entitled Adult Sues Parents to Pay for Her Tuition; NJ Court Agrees with Her

Maura McGarvey and Michael Ricci felt their daughter Caitlyn needed some tough love.  Their daughter had issues with teenage drinking. Concerned about her future, the divorced parents wanted to provide their daughter with what they felt was much needed structure.

After high school, they enrolled Caitlyn in a college program where alcohol was prohibited to students under 21. According to her mom’s blog, it only took Caitlyn three weeks to get expelled. Caitlyn then returned home with the guidelines that she work full time and take three summer classes at a community college. Not wanting to attend summer classes, Caitlyn packed her bags and moved.

Then, Caitlyn sued her parents to pay for out of state college tuition. And she won. Her parents are now legally obligated to pay for $16,000 of her tuition at Temple University. The parents haven’t seen Caitlyn outside of the courtroom for the past two years.

 “It is nice to see that she is alive and doing well, but it is hurtful because she wouldn’t look at us. When I got emotional in the courtroom and when Michael got emotional in the courtroom, she doesn’t have any emotion.”

Michael Ricci said that he will refuse to pay and will risk being held in contempt of court. The parents are upset that they didn’t even have the option of asking their daughter to attend an in state school with cheaper tuition. They have no voice in the matter according to a New Jersey law.

The parents are now working with state legislators to attempt to reverse this law which gives divorced parents no recourse to entitled adult children who still demand their parents support their lifestyle.

McGrath has spoken of her daughter’s sense of entitlement and complete lack of accountability on her blog.

 “I have been following Caitlyn’s activity for the past year and a half via Twitter and Instagram, as that is the only way I can be apprised of what she is doing. I am worried that she still has not learned her lesson about alcohol consumption, as prior to turning 21 last week, she often posted about tailgating at concerts and college parties, and once again I find myself fearful for her future. While suing me to pay for her tuition, she purchased a brand new car. She posts pictures of her manicures and new outfits from high-end retail shops. She got a tattoo. She complains about her professors. She complains about her job. She has learned that there are no consequences for her actions. She has learned that if she doesn’t get her way, she can sue. I am worried that without any parental guidance, she will continue on this path that I know will not end well for her.”

Adult children can sue their parents to pay for their college tuition. And the State of New Jersey has proven it will side with entitlement over responsibility.

How do you think someone with a clear sense of entitlement will adjust to fit into a professional work environment?




Erin P

View Comments

  • Time to sell the homestead and move to someplace where the system can't touch them. Let the emancipated one work her war through college -like so many others did. Their actual responsibility for her ended when she was 18, plus, she doesn't want to submit to their rules, so she moved out. The judge is a buffoon.

  • Well, Ok, so this would set precedents for suing based on gender, genome issues, behavioral traits...really with no end to the rediculosity. My youngest took her mothers side in a divorce, the mid lately decided I was irrelevant if I can't be as perfect as God, the oldest is feeling odd about the ex and I, and my son doesn't want me talking to him about his drinking.

    Good Lord! I'd be ambulance chaser bait in court!

    And I'm a disabled veteran with very little...but they can squeeze that blood rock!

  • This is why our country is going down the tubes the judge is flat out wrong... let him be her daddy and pay for a child thats out of control...

  • she became a legal adult at 18 so she should have to pay her own way. Alcoholics seem to only care about their self and think everyone should take care of them

  • Wow, the judicial system has really derailed in many cases. This is preposterous. Given that the parents tried to set reasonable restrictions on their financial backing of their daughter's education, how can the court be so 'confused' to believe that they were obligated to back the daughterr under her rules? Either there is much more to this story or this Judge is a loon.

    • It appears that the judge IS a "loon." If this young adult was sent to the school BY the parents, they should pay the tuition. But she chose the school. It's HER choice, not her parents choice. There's no reason for the judge to decide the parents should pay for schooling for this young adult. Courts should act judiciously. This judge is totally out of line.

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