Greedy Daughter Sues Parents for College Tuition -- And WINS

Caitlin Ricci sues parents tuition

In 2013, 20-year-old Caitlyn Ricci sued her estranged parents. Even though she was no longer living with her parents because their relationship had deteriorated over her refusal to accept house rules like chores and a curfew, Ricci decided her parents owed her tuition money for college. Ever since, she has refused to re-establish contact with her divorced parents, despite her mother’s attempts to reach out. On Thursday, a judge ruled on Ricci’s lawsuit ... and if you’re like me, you’ll be absolutely shocked at the decision: her parents now are legally bound to pay Ricci $16,000 a year for college.


I am so outraged over this court decision, I can barely keep my head straight to report on the facts, but here goes: Ricci’s grandparents paid for the lawyer, and apparently it was the same lawyer they used to sue their own SON. The grandparents’ story is that Ricci’s parents kicked her out of the family home and that’s when she came to live with them, while the parents say Ricci made the choice on her own.

Ricci’s mom says her daughter has never accepted her overtures since 2013:

I send her cards, and I send her poems. I send her pictures. And I get no response.

When Ricci filed suit, a judge ordered her parents to help with tuition so long as she applied for all possible loans and scholarships. Her parents say she never applied for anything, so they refused to pay.

That’s when the Camden County, New Jersey, judge ruled the parents have to pay the $16,000 a year, no matter what. Ricci now attends Temple University, an out-of-state school in Philadelphia, where tuition is higher.

Her mother Maura McGarvey says,

I think she just wants money. She wants us to pay for her education. She feels this is owed to her. Did I ever expect my daughter to sue me? No, of course not. It's heartbreaking. What child does this? It's insane.

I could just cry for these parents. No matter what they did, what disagreements they had, no parent owes their child the cash for a college education. It’s nice if we can, of course, if that’s the choice the family makes, but it’s not owed to you at birth. Plenty of parents don’t pay for college because they have to prioritize their retirement, or any one of a thousand reasons why it might not be something they can or want to support.

My husband and I have been saving for our kids’ college since the day they were born. It’s been a LOT of sacrifice on our part and we’ve worked really, really hard to be able to put that money away every month. But that money doesn’t belong to our kids. It belongs to us, and we have the right to use it for other expenditures if it became necessary for some reason.

At least I thought that was how the world worked. Apparently not, in this case.

The grandmother says she firmly believes her son and his ex-wife have to pay up:

How would you have a relationship with your parents if they don't want to contribute to college?

Um, maybe by a million other ways that don’t revolve around money? This grandmother sounds like she just wants to break up the family. I feel horrible for everyone involved, and frankly, I think the grandparents and Caitlyn Ricci should be incredibly ashamed of themselves.

What’s your take on this story?

Image via ABC

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