The Age of Entitlement

Many of you already know what has been going on in my family for the past year and a half. When my daughter moved out of my house in February 2013, I never could have imagined that this is where I would be in 18 months. Anyone who hears this story thinks it’s crazy, and no one can believe that this case saw the inside of a courtroom. But it did. And I lost. And now I don’t know what else to do except to tell my story and hope and pray that there is someone who can help me, someone who can help me make sense of what has happened to the child I raised, a victim of “the age of entitlement.”

I wanted to begin by telling the story of a struggling 20-year-old college student, who worked full-time to put herself through college with no help from her parents.  I am not talking about my daughter, Caitlyn, I am talking about myself.  I was only a few months older than Caitlyn is now, living in an apartment, working full-time and attending college full-time, when I found out I was pregnant.  From that very first moment, my life changed. My priorities changed. I was going to be a mother, and this child would come first, no matter what.

Within three years, I would be a soon-to-be divorced single mother.  I worked hard to provide a home for Caitlyn and me, and to make sure she would never go without, despite the fact that I still had not finished college.  Every week, I crammed a full-time job into 3 days, so that I only worked while Caitlyn was with her father.  I spent the weekdays with Caitlyn, attending Gymboree, Mommy and Me, visiting art museums, parks,  and aquariums.  When she was old enough to start preschool, I returned to college part-time, taking out student loans (which eventually totaled $40K, and I am still paying for).  When she started kindergarten, we opted to pay for a Catholic school because we wanted her to have the best, and we didn’t feel that the public schools in our area were good enough.

When I remarried in 2002, Caitlyn walked me down the aisle and came with my husband and I on our honeymoon. We worked hard to move into a better town where she could transition to the public schools. She was a part of our family in every aspect.  She came on family trips to Disney and annual family vacations to Sea Isle City.  She has been on excursions to Baltimore, Washington DC, and Boston.  She has been with us as a family to Phillies games, Eagles games, and Notre Dame Football games.

Caitlyn became involved in various activities once she was school aged.  She participated in dance, track, soccer, cheerleading, softball, basketball, pottery classes, voice lessons, and piano lessons.  Once she was old enough, we found a summer camp that specialized in drama and music.  She attended this camp for 8 summers, and also joined their show choir.  My ex-husband and I were not one of those divorced couples who had to keep going back into court to decide who would pay for all of these activities.  We put our differences aside and did what was best for Caitlyn.  We were parents first, and we made sure she had everything she wanted and needed.

I can say with certainty that Caitlyn was a child who needed strict rules and guidance.  Early on in high school, Caitlyn went to the beach for a day with one her friends.  Caitlyn and her friend lied to the friends parents about “walking on the boardwalk” and instead went to a hotel room with a group of boys where they drank until Caitlyn blacked out. I realized then that I had to be stricter about where Caitlyn went and how long she could be out.

Having grown up with two alcoholic parents, I feared that the genetic disposition may have skipped me and went to my daughter.  This fear rose again when at 17, Caitlyn and her friend snuck alcoholic drinks from the kitchen of our shore house when we were on vacation.  And again, when at 18 she was driving with a half-full bottle of rum in her trunk.  I was even more concerned when she admitted to smoking pot and driving home afterwards, telling me it “wasn’t a big deal because she wasn’t really high.”

When these things happened, my ex-husband and I again put aside any differences we had to do what we thought was best for Caitlyn. I continued to be firm about curfews and checking in with me, and we put her in counseling and attended family sessions with her. We were worried about what would happen if she went away to college. We agreed that attending community college while living at home was the best choice, and we worked out an agreement to pay for this education in full (again, without involving the courts… we were able to come to an agreement on our own.)

I came up with the idea of the Disney College Program.  I thought it would be a great opportunity for Caitlyn to prove to us that she was ready to go away to school.  I advocated for Caitlyn and convinced my ex-husband that this would be a good experience for her, even though she would only be able to take 2 classes that semester. The Disney parent information brochure made it very clear that interns under 21 would be placed in “Under 21” dorms where alcohol would be prohibited. Caitlyn’s father and I put out a great deal of money for this program. I purchased luggage, linens, and kitchen supplies and paid her first month’s rent.  He bought her airfare and flew her down, and provided a hotel room for the first night until she could move in.  Imagine our horror when after only 3 weeks, she was kicked out of the program for underage drinking (although at first she lied to us about why she was kicked out, claiming she was sleeping while her roommate had a party.  Turns out, Caitlyn had the party and her own roommates reported her).  Once again, we feared for Caitlyn and her future.  It was time for some “tough love.”

We came up with a plan for Caitlyn when she came home.  This plan included a full-time job, household chores, a curfew, and for her to register for 3 summer classes to make up for the wasted semester. The only part of our plan that she had a problem with was the 3 summer classes. She chose to move out of my house instead of following the rules we established. She packed her things, and moved into her paternal grandparent’s house.

I was very clear with Caitlyn about what this would mean for her – her father would no longer be required to pay child support, I would no longer have the money to help her pay for college, etc. More than once, I told her that she could come home.  She didn’t want to.  She wanted to live without any rules, with basically no contact with either of her parents or their families, and she wanted her father and I to pay for it. Within a few months of living at her grandparents, Caitlyn retained a lawyer and sued her father and me for college contribution (and a new car.) After over a year of court appearances, certifications, and family mediation, the Family Court in New Jersey found in her favor.  We have been ordered to pay the balance of her tuition at Temple – approximately $16,000 per year. The court did not seem to care that she applied to only one school, or that she left community college without finishing her Associates Degree, or that we told her repeatedly that we simply cannot afford out-of-state tuition. Her bill is due in one week.  In one week, I am supposed to come up with my share of $16,000 (my ex-husband is responsible for his portion as well) for an adult who has no relationship with me, my husband, or her brothers. Caitlyn has not been to my home since the day she left (in February 2013) despite the fact that I have continued to invite her to family functions, send her cards, gifts, poems, pictures, etc. She doesn’t want a family; she wants money. And the courts have told her that this is completely acceptable.

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.

Although Caitlyn may think she won, no one won this court case.  This is a family that has already lost so much.  I have lost my child. We lost the moment Caitlyn’s grandparents helped her hire a lawyer to sue her parents, instead of telling her to come home and work it out.  These are people who have undermined my parental decisions repeatedly throughout the past 20 years, despite the fact that the only reason they even have a relationship with Caitlyn is because of me.  Because I put Caitlyn first, and allowed her to continue to visit with her grandparents despite my ex-husband’s objections.  My reward for being the bigger person is having them pay for my child to sue me.

I worry about what to tell my two young sons.  Will they get the message that when they are 18 or 19, they can move out, refuse to follow any of my rules, have no relationship with me, and still expect me to support them financially?

I want to help support Caitlyn, not just financially, but in every way a mother supports her child.  I want to continue to be a parent to her.  I want to let her know that a parent establishes household rules to protect her children, and that a parent has a right to expect that those rules are followed.  I love my daughter, and want only what is best for her.  The court system may think that it acted in her best interest, but it simply fed into this “age of entitlement” and I am fearful for the future for not just Caitlyn, but for all of our children.

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285 thoughts on “The Age of Entitlement

  1. I have heard a great deal about the ‘family’ courts in NJ. A real rat’s nest of patrionage. I bet the first thing they did when you got in there was to make you jump when they said ‘You need to produce a financial statement’. Make no mistake, those courts are about the money. They size up every hapless group that shows up. They then run up the tab for lawyers on both side – to the limit those finanical statements can endure. They do not care who wins or loses, its all just about the money. My advice for you is to get in your car (with the two teens in tow) and head for the state line. You would be AMAZED to learn they can do ZERO to you on an interstate basis. That daughter of yours can sue again for contempt and get a ‘money judgement’ and then attempt to collect in different states. Once you go over to another state, there are better exclusions in those other states. Head for the state line and dont come back. NJ has always been the armpit of the northeast, so head for Florida or Oklahoma. They cannot touch you. Teach that daughter and her grandmamma a lesson that, from a money standpoint, their little party was completely on their dime. THEY WILL GET NOTHING and soon the smiles will go away. They will also be stuck paying for their own lawyer (since you will not honor that demand either). Trust me, their lawyer will get every penny from them. In two years time they will not be laughing any more. HEAD FOR THE STATE LINE and dont look back.

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    • New Jersey is horrible , it is definitely the age of entitlement. I have a similar situation, my almost 19 year old daughter has not been to my home in a year. She never calls me or visits her younger siblings, she works full time and refuses to take out any student loans to pay for college. She left my home because she didnt want to follow rules and yet i still pay child support and have been ordered to pay 35 percent of her colloege expenses. What is wrong with society??

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  2. No where in this article does the mother call her daughter a “spoiled brat”. She only states what has been described in many articles the raising of children in the “age of entitlement”. The mother describes past frustrations of not being told complete truths and not being able to trust her child’s judgement. The parents gave their child opportunities to be forthright and to regain their trust. The child was not ready to launch. Instead of working with her parents, the child chose to try to get on with her life under her own rules. Whether she was asked to leave the home or left on her own accord, that really does not matter. Her actions were disruptive and she did not want to live by the rules the parents were laying out for her. She had grandparents that chose to provide a roof over her head. Knowing that their child is safe from harm, I would hope that the parents provided the grandparents with some monetary compensation while their child grew into a young woman. That being said, I believe if the parents choose to end all financial aspects of a college education for this child, that should be their right. If the grandparents choose to contribute, that is their right. Unless they made some sort of contract (such as paying for good grades), the adult child should be on her own. This lawsuit has caused (almost) irreparable damage to this family. My unsolicited, stranger advice? As disgusting as it is, pay for this year. Be done with it. Heal your family and talk to your sons. Then, regroup and decide how the next year will be handled. The courts made a bad decision, at least by public opinion. And, I hope that you can put together your fractured family.

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    • Well my opinion is just another one in a sea of opinions in an age with social media (Yuk) where everyone’s opinion seems to be so important and so over shared. That being said– I feel sad for you and your family as does the above reply. However, I feel even more sorry for all the people that support your entitled spoiled brat. Which she is. Shame on her grandparents who seem to have over stepped their bounds and think they are her parents. Makes one wonder what kind of parents they were– likely not so great.
      Your daughter needs a dose of reality– and the only way she will get that is by failing on her own. Having consequences for her actions and having to solve her own problems.
      The biggest problem with the entitled generation these days is the parents, teachers, friends, grandparents, other relatives, and society who enabled them to be entitled. And rewarded them for everything– especially what they did not earn. Trophies for showing up– please. That is where we are now as a society, a bunch of “helo” parents who are way to involved in their children’s lives when they are much too old to be coddled. The failure of this child and the failed legal system that is rewarding her poor behavior is a result of everyone giving their children too much. They do not work hard because they do not need to. The legal system is only truly interested in making money for themselves, or getting publicity, and of course telling people how to parent their children. The legal system has been broken for many years– and we have all heard about the absurd decisions that a misguided or burned out judge hands down which are based on everything BUT common sense. If common sense prevailed (and sanity) this child would have been laughed out of court, and forced to make her own way in the world. Party on girl– but you pay for that. Screw up and pay for it. Blow all your money and figure out where your next meal or safe place to stay is coming from. Simple. When people are faced with survival– they survive and develop character through adversity. Every smart and kind parent should want your children to develop character– and sometimes it takes challenges to overcome to develop it. Unfortunately, most people including Lisa above– think the answer is to throw money at it– this is father from the truth. That is why the Millennials as they are now called (I call them entitled– through mostly the fault of their parents) are the way they are– been given too much and do not care about earning it. Of course, there is always the lottery, the internet, or the legal system to help give them free or quick money for very little effort. I wish you well McGarvey– I feel for you. Many forces are working against you– some of which you contributed to. But I will say this– you asking the rest of the world to help “go fund you” and your cause is sad. Everyone wants a handout. You want your daughter to stand up for herself and work hard for what she has– but you have no problem asking strangers for money for your own personal issue. Instead of asking for money for the appeal– just change it ask for money for your daughters tuition. At least then, you would not be supporting the greedy legal profession. You cannot have it both ways– but you want it both ways. Last comment– college is a privilege and NOT A GOD GIVEN RIGHT– just like a driver’s license– perhaps your daughter should lose both of those privileges until she grows up and and can appreciate and work hard for what she has.
      Now many people will assume that I likely do not have children or have some other bias. I do–two children 25 and 21 and both have jobs, are college educated and have some college loans they are paying off every month to keep good credit. The family helped with some of their college expenses and could have paid it all– but I wanted to make sure that they had some loans when they graduated. That would mean that they had a stake in their own future– and guess what? When they do– they study harder, graduate in 4 years not 5 or 6 or never, and they get a job– or two! I hope other parents take this approach with their children— it does not guarantee success– but I can say there is a better chance of your child being motivated, grateful, hard working, and graduating with a JOB– they will want it more. And they will NOT be entitled! They will also have more self esteem and confidence as they will have partly earned it for themselves.

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      • Amen and well said! I’m in total agreement with you. We have a bratty, 19 year old daughter, our only child, that also sees herself as an entitled person. She dropped out of college, and has accused my husband and me of many things that aren’t true. We are done until she decides to grow up.

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  3. Clearly the court got this one plain wrong. Kids today don’t need any help to believe they are special little snowflakes and to believe they shouldn’t be held accountable for their own actions. What a terrible message and precedent to send!

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  4. Entitled daughter should be ashamed of herself, as should her enabling grandparents, along with the enabling courts and judges. I hope the legal landscape is not this ludicrous in other states. Bravo for Mom, who only told her side without bashing her daughter whatsoever. I can only imagine the deep emotional pain she has endured already. Other parents, and society in general, need to know about this 3-ring circus that just played out. Daughter is the one who bashed her parents throughout this whole charade, simply by suing them the way she did. The law needs to change, but I’m certain it won’t. But hey, remember the pet seatbelt law? I heard that was reversed, not long after it was passed. Maybe there’s hope for this law to be reversed as well. But how to go about getting such a thing accomplished? I do not know. But if it isn’t, what’s next? Will our kids be able to sue us and have the courts force us to pay for their cell phone bill…internet service…rent money? New gaming system? New clothes? How about a new house? Anything their little hearts desire? No matter if we can barely afford our own expenses and already live paycheck to paycheck? What is wrong with this country? Or at least with the state of NJ? This is THE most absurd news story I’ve ever heard. Not what Mom did. What daughter did. Shame, shame, shame on daughter. But I would say that the biggest shame lies upon the courts, the judges, the state of NJ, and the imbecile who first drafted this law to begin with. I won’t say what I think should happen to that person. But as a group, they are the ones ultimately responsible – b/c they set the stage in motion for this to happen in the first place.

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  5. I think you should have cut her off the first time she lied and got drunk. I wouldn’t have done the Disney thing. Just because you wanted the best for her you never let her earn it (hence the self entitlement attitude). It sounds like you gave chance after chance to lie and deceive and never made her earn a single thing. Miss curfew, bye bye cell phone…drink alcohol…bye bye car. Why did she even get a car in the first place? My parents didn’t buy me a car. Ha! I wish! Once I was old enough to have working papers (age 14) was when I was old enough to buy my own clothes, pay for nights out with my friends at the mall or to a movie. I earned it. By age 26 and no college degree (because I couldn’t get a high enough paying job to pay for a book let alone tuition, I bought my first home. Two years later I doubled my money when I sold it at the height of real estate. Two years after that I got married and had twins and started my own business that I could work from home while raising my twins. Here my twins are 9…I am 40…married for 13 yrs and now own two businesses (with employees) that are successful. Raising my kids who never saw the inside of a daycare and have a close relationship with my parents because I realized why they didn’t give me everything I wanted. It feels a lot better to earn it. I did all of this on a high school diploma. Live in a beautiful home in Marlboro NJ and hoping my kids learn to earn their way through life. I get this mom did what she thought was best for her daughter but she put the self entitlement in her head in the first place. They never cut her off. Shame on the courts for allowing this case to end in the child’s favor. That is absurd. There is no law that says a parent must pay for the continued education of their “children”. That’s an 18 yr old adult who doesn’t even live at home. And shame on those grandparents for allowing this to tear a family apart. When Caitlyn has kids of her own she will wish she had her mom in her life or she will grow old ashamed of how she showed her gratitude. Shame on her. If I was the mother, I would appeal the decision as long as possible.

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  6. Make the Grand-Parents pay for her collage. They’re the ones that allowed that spoiled brat to think she can have her cake and eat it too! The judges in this case should be fired for their decision!!

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  7. How ridiculous of you. You overreacted to typical teenage behavior, driving a wedge between yourself and your kid until you SENT HER AWAY to live in a “dorm” at some non-school facility. Of course she drinks. Of course she has smoked pot. She is a teen. As a 34 year old woman I am old enough to know better, but am not stupid enough to believe that teenagers think the way I do. Don’t act like a victim – the only victim here is your daughter. Forcing her to work full-time AND take 3 classes? You have got to be kidding me. Even I could not handle that much nonsense. I hope your sons are smart enough to take the same steps if you are still overreacting to typical behaviors.

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    • I am a temple student, and you enrage me. I smoke weed here and there, I drank underage., and had my parents ever caught me, I would have consequences. In my experience as a young adult/teen, experimenting with alcohol/drugs is not neccisarily evil, but if you get to the point where your parents and authority figures are catching you multiple times, you do need consequences and help.

      What do you suggest this mother do? Ignore catching her kid drinking obsessively?

      Nobody is entitled to a college education. The redicules cost of college should speak to that. Should her parents have helped her out? It sounds like they did, but instead she decided to turn them down. If they are spending their money, they have every right to have a say as to the type of school she attends.

      And I work 20-25 hours a week and have 7 classes. To work full time and take three classes is fairly doable, hell, I know people working full time and going to school full time. It might not have allowed her to drink every night, but it is doable. So, I work half the hours (if that, as likely work full time is 30hrs according to her parents) and go to school double+ what she was asked to. And I still get to have fun.

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    • She is NOT a teen! She is 21 years old! An adult by all accounts (although her selfish behavior and actions dont show it!) WTH is wrong with working FT and taking 3 classes? Absolutely NOTHING! Many many others have done just that and it didnt kill them! If you want it bad enough you will do it! She just wants what she wants and when she wants and doesnt want to pay for any of it.

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    • Michelle,
      You are not respecting the daughter as an ADULT. You may not like it but she is an adult and deserves to be addressed as an adult. As such, you should also expect her to behave and take responsibility for her actions, desires, etc. She can, at any time, tell her parents, I AM AN ADULT. TREAT ME LIKE ONE!!. Likewise, her parents should be able to choose whether or not the investment is worth it, the child deserves it, if they can afford it, etc. I have 4 grown children so I can address this. You, Michelle, are disrespecting the adult daughter. The only fault I give the parents is the statements that they gave her everything she wanted as a child. That is how children learn to feel entitled. If the daughter, as an adult, wants to ask her parents for a favor to help pay tuition, etc., then she should also accept the possible responses of NO or their own demands to do so. If one of my kids is irresponsible with money, get in a bind and ask me for help, I don’t just give it to them. When you ask me for help, you invite me to set the terms. I set terms that will hopefully prevent whatever caused the issue to occur in the first place. Thus, an adult (parent) can only continue to teach their adult child if the adult child wants to learn. It sounds like that law needs to be stricken from the books and quick. That’s a crazy and very bad law. Whomever wrote it and voted it in, really screwed up.

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    • I’m just looking at these comments and all I see is that most of you people sitting down staring at the computer just love to spread hate on the 21 year old girl. We don’t know the whole story but I can say my opinion here. My view I believe that this mother overreacted to her daughters behavior at the time she was a teen. I’m not defending the daughter nor the parents but I feel that there’s more too it. I believe that the mother kicked her daughter out of the house otherwise she wouldn’t be suing her parents in court for tuition cause I don’t think that if she had left voluntarily she would sue her parents, just saying. However the mother here is at fault and so is her ex-husband for deciding to bash their daughter on national television and that right there is NOT being a worried mother and father and yes just like I read the articles about the case, I also read her blog post. If she was a mother she wouldn’t be bashing her daughter on television and on her blog post that says a lot about a person in general. Caitlyn I feel shouldn’t have done what she did but you people are judging her way to fast, we don’t know the whole story plus she’s not going to talk about it with the media and that says a lot about her,she wants to keep it private. Personally for me the law is the law no matter how some polices are shocking the NJ Supreme Court made that law (yes there is a law where divorced parents have to pay their child’s tuition for college) and the judge made that ruling citing Newburgh v. Arrigo. I feel though she should get a job and go to temple part time if her parents decide not to give her the money. Finally if all you people decide to reply back on my opinion and calling me every name by the book I don’t care it’s my opinion and all of you have opinions which is fine but I’m probably not going to reply back. Hopefully this drama will be over someday and the family can have peace with themselves.

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      • Even if the mother kicked the daughter out, at what point should the parents stop letting their child (adult) disobey their rules and live off of their money? After so many instances of disobeying rules, getting kicked out of the institute for disobeying those rules, lying, doing drugs and recklessly drinking, a parent has to put their foot down. And if repeated chances, therapy, and establishing rule after rule to keep their daughter safe does not work, what else are they to do? The last final straw is to kick your child out. Which is horribly sad, but the daughter has no one to blame for herself on that, if it is true. So no, the mother and father is NOT at fault for this.

        And I have not seen any instances of either parent “bashing” the daughter. In the blog post above, she explains the instances which led to the court case. She repeatedly stated how much she cares and loves her daughter and fears for the bad choices she was and continues to make. She did not bash her daughter but it just seems like she wants to share her side of the story with those that are curious about the case.

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    • 3 classes? Poor baby.

      I took well over full time classes while working a 48 hour week. The only “nonsense” you could handle is the expectation that life is meant to be easy.

      It’s not. Sometimes it requires work. Hard work. If you continue to coast your way through life, you won’t amount to more than human driftwood.

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      • Three summer classes IS full time and even if it wasn’t summer classes, when people work full time they take one or two classes, three is a lot if you want really good grades.

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      • This is to Vanilla Dazzle, commenter to Domenick…. There is more than one session in a summer. You can take two courses NOT at the same time over the summer. And whether you choose to believe it or not there are many, many people out here whose parents do not pay for their college. And also who work full time and go to school full time, getting highest grades. Some even while raising children. What they do not do is take anything for granted or party their education away. These folks drive a car, not eye candy. They live responsibly. They don’t take parents to court to fix their mistakes. Its may not be about entitlement for this “child”, but seems rather indicative of the refusal to acknowledge and accept fault for her own behavior that is typical of a substance abuser and will follow her a long time if not always. The grandparents only make it worse by enabling the behavior her parents have tried to squash. This suit is about so much more than tuition or money, by the daughter and the grandparents. Every case in our courts sets precedence, and they hurt others by having their tantrums in our courtrooms.

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    • Really? You think they overreacted when she repeatedly got so drunk that she passed out? Got kicked out of school? Drove a car high on marijuana? And that’s “typical teenage behavior” to you? I worry for your kids. There’s a word to describe kids like that: delinquent. This woman tried everything she could to steer her daughter away from underage drinking and drugs. It’s the culture that you accept with your idea that this behavior is “typical” that is to blame. Sure, you can expect teenagers to try things, and push boundaries. But that’s why parents must PUSH BACK. So that the teens know where those boundaries are, and that they cannot be broken. This girl left home of her own accord, and decided to cut herself off from her parents. She can’t have it both ways. She is a typical example of the entitlement problem. She thinks that she is owed something, or that she deserves something, when she hasn’t earned it. As a child, you earn your parent’s blessing by learning the lessons they try to teach you. You earn their support by showing them that you deserve it. Not by demanding it.

      I hope that one day your kids sue YOU for some ridiculously high out of state tuition that you can’t afford. We’ll see if you’re still singing the same tune.

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      • It is typical behavior. I did all of those things in HIGH SCHOOL, and ended it on my own accord come college — just realized I wanted better for myself. Getting kicked out of school nor my mom’s freakout was enough to stop me; I just got to college and realized I wanted a better life and drugs would impede that.

        And I absolutely hate all of the people saying going to school and working full time is easy…they fooled me and I tried it for a semester — NEVER AGAIN! 17 hours plus two part time jobs plus volunteering and I was pre-med? NO. It is not doable, and maybe it’s possible to do it with only 3 classes but it is not the cakewalk people imply and to be honest it shouldn’t be done. School should take focus, not be wedged between bullshit waitressing for 2.13 an hour.

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    • I worked full time,while taking 2 Graduate school classes per semester. These parent wanted her to take 3 summer classes, there are generally 2 sessions per summer, not outside the realm of impossibility AT ALL. Plus 40 hours a week for a 18-21 year old means working around a school schedule not a 9-5/Monday thru Friday schedule. For someone her age and a job that would mean 40ish hours means working night-time hours and weekends. Get over it, been there done that and paid my way through graduate school (no-loans) while doing it.

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    • Wow, you need to grow up. Not following rules in their house, I get rid of her too. It’s her choice to drink and act like a child. There is no excuse for her except she’s lazy and greedy. The judge needs to go too.

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    • How is working full time and taking only 3 classes in any way unreasonable? Most everyone I knew growing up did that or more. At least the successful ones did and they developed wonderful work ethics besides. This was in the late 90s and early 2000’s so it was not that long ago.

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      • The standards that her mother set up for her to follow in order to live at home were very reasonable. Caitlyn chose not to follow these seemingly logical rules. Caitlyn also was thrown out of the Disney intern program for drinking. I am baffled that she won the court case and hope that she may see the error of her ways at some point and just drop the rest of the suit and pay for her own education with loans and scholarships. I support both parents 100% and wish them well. This whole story really scares me and has me worried for the future of America and our constitutional rights. One last thing to add. I read another article pertaining to this story saying Caitlyn is working and has a GPA of A/B’s. If this true why can’t she get a scholarship? The fact that she seemed to be too lazy to do the research involved w/ finding scholarships and loans seems extremely odd and does not demonstrate a very good work ethic. that is just my opinion of course.

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    • You are seriously full of crap!!! The parent’s role is to BE THE PARENT, not the friend… not the enabler. I worked full time, and went to college, then borrowed money for professional school. Nothing special about that… millions of people do that EVERY DAY. I think you are a liar Michelle. Your name probably is not even Michelle… I doubt you’re 34, and if so no doubt a very immature 34. You say, “Of course she drinks. Of course she has smoked pot. She is a teen.”, as if no one, particularly a parent should care….. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? I already feel sorry for your children, if and when you crap them out!!! STUPID B—-CH!!!

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    • Michelle, I am currently working full-time and taking three classes this semester. I am not doing this as a punishment for disobeying my parents rules; I am doing this to further my education and pay for my own school. It is entirely possible to work full time and go to school. Is it difficult? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not, especially if you have a low-stress, typical summer job which is most likely what this daughter would have acquired.

      It seems you might be under the same entitlement as this woman’s daughter. Not sure if you have kids or not, but when they disobey you, you plan to turn the other cheek? When a teenager engages in reckless behavior (yes, smoking pot and driving and drinking underage to the point of damaging excess is reckless), there should be consequences. I sincerely pray that you realize this if you have kids or plan to ever be around any. Enforcing curfews and requiring your kid to get a job and sending your child to therapy for alcohol abuse are NOT unreasonable. That’s just plain ole good parenting. Even sending her child to the Disney school was a way for the daughter to finally prove, after many failed instances, that she can be trusted to be on her own, obey rules, and use her parents money toward education. She did not succeed. Again, none of this was bad parenting. I honestly incredibly shocked that someone could fail to recognize this.

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    • Overreacted to typical teenage behavior? You must be absurd with the way you parent your own kids. It’s the kids job to learn on her own and obviously her parents were being parents. Please.. I hope you never have kids.

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    • Have you lost your mind Michelle. I grew up in a strict household. When I went off to college I didn’t drink, smoke pot, lie to my parents, or party hard. I got an education. I worked part time. I took 5-6 classes a semester. I didn’t rebel and take advantage of my parents or the legal system. That girl is no victim by any means. And to say so, is a severe lack of common sense.

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    • I am not sure what your circumstances are now, or what they were when you were 20 years old, but plenty of people could “handle” working and going to school part time. I worked full time and went to school full time, putting myself through college. It is a matter of taking responsibility for one’s life. When my parents were 20, my father volunteered to fight in World War II & my mother worked full time & went to school part time. My husband, my brother, and all 4 of my husband’s siblings worked and went to school simultaneously. The fact of the matter is that many people these days can’t “handle” this responsibility because they are weak. Ask anyone who comes to this country as an immigrant, they well tell you how remarkably easy our lives are here in America. Bottom line, it is not a parent’s responsibility to give their children everything…it IS their responsibility to prepare them to become adults. According to the law of the land, adulthood is reached at 18.

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  8. Will one day a lawyer wake up and take on this one sided unconstitutional law?

    PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
    Our State & Federal Constitution guarantees many rights. Yet, one of our fundamental rights is not protected: the parent’s right to direct the education and upbringing of our children. This right is essential to a free society, yet, increasingly, parental choices are being overridden. The State, by and through its appointed judges, should not be the director of private higher education for children. This, in essence, breaches a wall of separation between the State and the Family that should be and has been, ardently guarded throughout our nation’s history.
    This case presents a substantial constitutional question of critical importance – does “The Law,” which bestows a wholly undefined and unrestricted authority upon a Family Court Judge to infringe upon the fundamental rights of parents to control the education of their children?
    The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld the fundamental rights of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody and controlling the education of their children. Long ago, the Court rejected the notion that children are mere creatures of the state and therefore severely limited the circumstances in which the government may interfere in the private realm of family. Nevertheless, in New Jersey, a fit parent could be stripped of their fundament right to control the education of a child, simply because a judge arbitrarily and impliedly determines that they can make a better educational decision. All of the powers the government possesses it has received from us, from our personal repositories of freedom. Thomas Jefferson recognized this when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence that our rights are inalienable — they cannot be separated from us — because we have been endowed with them by our Creator. James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, observed that in the history of the world, when freedom has been won, it happened because those in power begrudgingly permitted freedom as a condition of staying in power or even staying alive. In America, the opposite occurred when free people voluntarily permitted the government to exercise the limited power needed to protect freedom. That is known as “the consent of the governed.” To Jefferson and Madison, a government lacking that consent is illegitimate. So, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the principal author of the Constitution were of one mind on this: All persons are by nature free, and to preserve those freedoms, they have consented to a government. That was the government they gave us — not power permitting liberty, but liberty permitting power — and the instrument of that permission was the Constitution.
    The Constitution was created by free men to define and limit the government so it can defend but not threaten our freedoms. Since only free persons can consent to a government, the government cannot lawfully exist without those consents. Here is where the modern-day tyrants and big-government apologists have succeeded in confusing well-meaning people. What does this mean? It means that when politicians and judges say that liberty and safety need to be balanced against each other, they are philosophically, historically and constitutionally wrong. Liberty is the default position. Liberty is the essence of our natural state. Liberty cannot possibly be equal to a good we have instructed the government to obtain. Every conceivable clash between the free choices of persons and their instructions to their government to safeguard freedom must favor the free choices because freedom is inalienable. Just as I cannot authorize the government to take away your freedom any more than you can authorize it to take away mine, a majority of all but one cannot authorize the government in a free society to take freedom from that one individual. So if somehow freedom and safety do clash, it is the free choice of each person to resolve that clash for themselves and not one the government can morally make. The reasons we have consented to limited government are to preserve the freedom to pursue happiness, the freedom to be different and the freedom to be left alone. None of these freedoms can exist if we are subservient to the government in the name invoking Parens Patriae Power, without a showing of harm or anything else.
    POINT ONE
    THE LAW MATERIALLY INTERFERES WITH THE GUARANTEED
    LIBERTY INTEREST OF PARENTS TO CONTROL THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN

    “The Law” materially interferes the guarantee liberty interest of Parents to establish a home and direct the education & upbringing of their children. This liberty interest at issue is protected by the Due Process Clause. See Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, (1923). The Meyer Court also held that liberty protected by U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 14, may not be interfered with under the guise of protecting the public interest, by legislative action which is arbitrary or without reasonable relation to some purpose within the competency of the state to effect. Also, the State has no legitimate interest in private higher education, because parents have a right to control the education of their child without unreasonable restrictions. See Farrington v. Tokushige, 273 U.S. 284 (1927), in which the Court explained:
    The capacity to impart instruction to others is given by the Almighty for beneficent purposes and its use may not be forbidden or interfered with by government — certainly not, unless such instruction is, in its nature, harmful to the public morals or imperils the public safety.
    The Parents’ right to instruct their children clearly takes precedence over the State’s regulatory interest, unless the public safety in endangered. For the same precise reasons, “The Law” is void, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT TWO
    THE LAW VIOLATES THE FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT

    In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479,(1965), the Court emphasized that the state cannot interfere with the right of a parent to control his child’s education. Id.,at 486. The Court stated that the right to educate one’s child as one chooses is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and applicable to the States by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The U.S. Supreme Court once again upheld Pierce as “the charter of the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.” Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 at 233. In agreement with Pierce, Chief Justice Burger stated in the opinion of Wisconsin v. Yoder in 1972:
    This case involves the fundamental interest of parents, as contrasted with that of the state, to guide the religious future and education of their children. The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring tradition. [emphasis supplied]
    This case involved a family of the Amish religion who wanted to be exempt after eighth grade from the public schools to be instructed at home. In its opinion the U.S. Supreme Court further emphasized that:
    Thus a state’s interest in universal education, however highly we rank it, is not totally free from a balancing process when it impinges on fundamental rights and interests, such as those specifically protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and the traditional interest of parents with respect to the religious upbringing of their children . . . This case involves the fundamental and religious future and education of their children. Id., at 214. [emphasis supplied]
    “The Law,” is not so compelling or necessary, that a select class of fit Parents, mainly single or divorced Parents must forfeit their liberty interests, while intact married Parents’ fundamental rights to control the education of their children are respected. It is the Parents who possess guaranteed fundamental rights with respect to the question of whether or not they will or will not contribute to the cost of a college education for their children. A review of these cases unquestionably shows that the Supreme Court has unwaveringly given parental rights the highest respect & protection. “The Law” is a fallacy borne of a noble purpose, notwithstanding that our legislator & courts has no authority to create legislation under the guise of protecting the public interest, which utilizes police power to materially interfere with guaranteed liberty interest of parents to control the education of their child. The State may do much in order to improve the quality of its children, educationally, physically, mentally and morally, is clear; but the Parents have certain guaranteed fundamental rights to control the education of their children must be respected. The U.S. Supreme Court in discussing the constitutionality of a state law that impinges upon a fundamental right held, “It is of course true that a law that impinges upon a fundamental right explicitly or implicitly secured by the Constitution is presumptively unconstitutional. Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U.S. 55 (1980).” For the same precise reasons, “The Law” is void, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT THREE
    THE LAW IS VOID PURSUANT TO COOPER VS. AARON
    In Cooper vs. Aaron, 358 U.S. 178 S. Ct. 1401 (1958) held if a judge does not fully comply with the Constitution, then his orders are void.
    The protection of the Federal Constitution extends to all. All State Legislature & Judges have an affirmative duty to obey rulings from the United States Supreme Court interpretation of the United States Constitution. A state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it. Chief Justice Marshall spoke for a unanimous Court in saying that: ‘If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery.’ United States v. Peters, 5 Cranch 115, 136, 3 L.Ed. 53. A Governor who asserts a power to nullify a federal court order is similarly restrained. If he had such power, said Chief Justice Hughes, in 1932, also for a unanimous Court, ‘it is manifest that the fiat of a state Governor, and not the Constitution of the United States, would be the supreme law of the land; that the restrictions of the Federal Constitution upon the exercise of state power would be but impotent phrases.’ Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 397-398, 53 S.Ct. 190, 195, 77 L.Ed. 375.
    “Article VI of the Constitution makes the Constitution the “Supreme Law of the Land.” In 1803, Chief Justice Marshall, speaking for a unanimous Court, referring to the Constitution as “the fundamental and paramount law of the nation,” declared in the notable case of Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177, that,
    “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” This decision declared the basic principle that the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution, and that principle has ever since been respected by this Court and the Country as a permanent and indispensable feature of our constitutional system.” 358 U.S. at 18.
    For all the reasons stated in this brief, “The Law” is void, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT FOUR
    THE LAW VIOLATES PARENTAL AUTHORITY & INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY

    It is important to emphasize, that there is no Supreme Court precedent saying that Parents Fundamental Liberty Interest to child rearing & controlling the education of their children are lost or diminished in anyway by divorced or a family court proceeding. A noncustodial parent does not become less of parent if he or she decides that private or higher education is not in the best interest of a child. A Parent’s responsibility does not diminish and the rights which accompany that responsibility remain as well. As the U.S. Supreme Court articulated, “the tradition of parental authority is… one of the basic presuppositions of individual liberty.” Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. at 638. The law’s concept of the family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions. More important, historically it has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children.
    Even assuming there are allegations that one parent might have mistreated the children, the underlying liberty interest, and the presumption that parents act in the best interest of their children, does not evaporate, and the state cannot seek to tear apart the family unit without giving due respect to both parents’ – and the children’s – liberty interests. Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753 (1982). Fundamental rights are unalienable rights safeguarded by the 1st, 5th, 14th amendment of U.S. Constitution. No state can usurp these fundamental liberty interest rights automatically solely because parents are in disagreement. When two fit parents, regardless of their marital status, come before the bar of justice, the Court has taken an oath to treat both fit parents equally. Where fundamental liberty interest rights to family integrity hang in the balance, as a constitutional matter, there is no basis for treating fit, unmarried, natural parents differently from fit married, natural parents. Alsager v. District Court of Polk County, Iowa, 406 F.Supp. 10, 15 (S.D.Iowa 1975).
    It is our Constitution that protects “the interest of a parent in the companionship, care, custody, and management of his or her children.” Stanley v. Illinois, supra, 405 U.S at 651 (emphasis added). “The family unit accorded traditional respect in our society, which we have referred to as the ‘unitary family,’ is typified, of course, by the marital family, but also includes the household of unmarried parents and their children.” Michael H. v. Gerald D., 491 U.S. 110, 123, (1989). By the same token, parents who have undergone divorce or the bereavement of their spouse’s death retain their fundamental rights to raise their children without state veto of their decisions. For the same precise reasons, “The Law” is void, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT FIVE
    STATE HAS NO NECESSARY COMPELLING INTEREST
    IN CARING FOR A CHILD WHEN PARENTS ARE FIT

    The New Jersey Supreme Court acknowledges that the State lacks a compelling justification for an infringement on the fundamental rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit. See Watkins v. Nelson, 163 N.J. 235 (2000), The Watkins Court determined that only a showing of unfitness, abandonment, gross misconduct or exceptional circumstances would overcome the presumption in favor of the parent, and that “exceptional circumstances” requires proof of serious physical or psychological harm or a substantial likelihood of such harm. Watkins explains that avoiding harm to the child is the polestar and the constitutional imperative that is necessary to overcome the presumption in favor of the parent’s decision and to justify intrusion into family life. In N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. E.P., 196 N.J. 88, 102 (2008), the Court recognized the right of a parents to raise a child and maintain a relationship with that child, without undue interference by the state, is protected by the United States and New Jersey Constitutions. See Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651–52, 92 S.Ct. 1208, 1212, 31 L.Ed.2d 551, 558–59 (1972); In re Guardianship of K.H.O., 161 N.J. 337, 346, 736 A.2d 1246 (1999). Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925). That fundamental parental right, however, is not without limitation. The State has a basic responsibility, as parens patriae, to protect children from serious physical and psychological harm, even from their parents. K.H.O., supra, 161 N.J. at 347, 736 A.2d 1246. When the safety and welfare of a child become so irredeemably jeopardized by parental abuse or neglect, the State may take the most extreme form of action, which is to completely sever the relationship between a mother or father and a child. N.J. Div. of Youth & Family Servs. v. A.W., 103 N.J. 591, 604–11, 512 A.2d 438 (1986).
    As long as a parent adequately cares for his or her children (i.e., is fit), ( in this case-complying with N.J. Const. Article VIII, § 4, P 1.), there should be no reason whatsoever for the State to inject itself into the private realm of the family to further question the ability of that parent to make the best decisions concerning the rearing of that parent’s children. Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 304 (1992); Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, (2000). Parental rights consist of fundamental liberty and privacy interest, which the State can only infringe upon after finding a child is in severe harm, or severe danger of being harmed. A fit parent’s fundamental parenting rights do not evaporate upon the filing of a divorce complaint or at any time thereafter. The Court Troxel held the U.S. Constitution, “requires that a prior and independent finding of parental unfitness – by clear and convincing evidence, (not a preponderance of evidence) must be made before the court may proceed to the question of whether an order disturbing and limiting a parent’s ‘care, custody, and control’ of his or her child is in that child’s best interests.” In New Jersey, the preponderance of evidence standard is utilized. This standard does not comply with U.S. Constitution and is void under Cooper vs. Aaron, 358 U.S. 178 S. Ct. 1401 (1958).
    Justice Scalia’s dissent in Troxel, “recognizes that the right of parents to make decisions regarding a child’s care, control, education, health, and religion, as well as with whom the child will associate, is a fundamental right that arises “as an inherent consequence of the parent-child relationship independent of any case law, statute, or constitutional provision.” Id. at 7. The State of New Jersey fails to recognize these rights. Troxel also held that the Due Process Clause mandates a “presumption that fit parents act in the best interests of their children” under which a trial court “must accord at least some special weight to the parent’s own determination.” 530 U.S. at 68, 70 (plurality opinion) (emphasis added).
    The compelling state interest must involve the prevention of harm to the child. Since “The Law” permits the State to interfere with the parents’ constitutional privacy & fundamental rights without a demonstration of harm to the child, it is unconstitutional. Further, the promotion of litigation, possibly directly involving the adult child, is not the least intrusive means to any purported State interest. It is, thus, axiomatic that since the parents’ authority to raise their children is a basic, fundamental right, it cannot be usurped or impinged upon by the government except when doing so serves a compelling state interest and accomplishes its goals with the least intrusive means. See Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 113, 155 (1977). “The Law” also violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Under the Federal Constitution, parents have a liberty and privacy interest in the care, custody and management of their children. To permit any governmental interference into these rights, there must be a powerful countervailing interest. The United States Supreme Court has interpreted this interest to mean that there must first be a showing of harm to the child as a result of the parents’ decision. Accordingly, because “The Law” allows the State to intrude upon the parents’ rights to raise their children without any demonstration of harm, it unconstitutionally violates the Fourteenth Amendment. For the same precise reasons, “The Law” is void, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT SIX
    THE STATE’S PRESUMPTIONS ARE DE MINIMIS
    The State’s presumption that it has a strong interest in the outcome of disputes where the welfare of our young citizens is at stake is misplaced, nor constitutional. The State’s presumption in which they claim to have a strong interest in ensuring that our youth are educated such that they can become more productive members of our society is also constitutionally flawed. The correct constitutional presumption is that the State has little, if any, interest in caring for a child when the child’s parent is fit. See, e.g., Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 248 (1978) (“The State’s interest in caring for the children is ‘de minimis’ if the parent is in fact a fit parent.”). In this case, both fit Parents are presumed to act in the best interest of their child. Thus, the State only has a de minimis interest, if any.
    To suggest government’s “special interest” in protecting children, or invoking the altruistic language of “best interest,” or simply saying that “children have a right to be free from harm” are legally insufficient criteria for “children’s rights” and elevating the role of the state into the lives of families. See Martin Guggenheim, What’s Wrong with Children’s Rights, passim (Harvard University Press 2005). Lassiter v. Dep’t of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18, 46 n.13 (1981)(so-called “best interests” standard offers little guidance to judges, and may effectively encourage them to rely on their own personal values). Troxel emphatically rejected the notion that a “best interest of the child” standard is enough for a judge to supplement the decision of a fit parent. The statist notion that government may supersede parental authority in order to ensure bureaucratically or judicially determined “best interests” of children has been rejected as repugnant to American traditions. Judges and state officials are ill-equipped to second guess parents and are precluded from intervening in absence of powerful countervailing interests. Zummo v. Zummo, 574 A.2d 1130, 1138 (Pa. Super. 1990), citing Lehr v. Robertson, 463 U.S. 248, 257-61, 103 S.Ct. 2985, 2991-93, 77 L.Ed. 2d 614, 623-29 (1982). For the same precise reasons, “The Law,” is unconstitutional, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT SEVEN THE STATE DOES NOT HAVE PARENS PATRIAE POWER
    The State’s claim that it is empowered, as parens patriae, to extend the benefit of private college education must be rejected under the standard articulated in Yoder, in which the Court stated:
    The State’s claim that it is empowered, as parens patriae, to extend the benefit of secondary education to children regardless of the wishes of their parents cannot be sustained against a free exercise claim of the nature revealed by this record, for the Amish have introduced convincing evidence that accommodating their religious objections by forgoing one or two additional years of compulsory education will not impair the physical or mental health of the child, or result in an inability to be self-supporting or to discharge the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, or in any other way materially detract from the welfare of society.

    In this case, there is not one iota evidence to prove that without “The Law,” would impair the physical or mental health of the child, or result in an inability to be self-supporting or to discharge the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, or in any other way materially detract from the welfare of society. “The Law” circumvents the Constitutional command that that the exercise of Parens Patriae Power is subject to the United States Constitutional system of Ordered Liberty. See Meyer Id. at 290, (“Determination by the Legislature of what constitutes proper exercise of police power is not final or conclusive but is subject to supervision by the courts.”). Particularly after the enactment of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Supreme Court applied due process principles and strict scrutiny analysis to limit state invocations of its Parens Patriae Power. Liberty in “matters relating to marriage, procreation, family relationships, and child rearing and education” are “’fundamental’” and “’implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ as described in Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1937).” Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 713 (1976). “In these areas . . . there are limits on the state’s power to substantively regulate conduct.” Id. The Fourteenth Amendment prevents the State of New Jersey, from interfering with guaranteed liberty interest of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. Article VIII, § 4, P 1. , prevents the State from compelling fit parents to cause their children to attend school beyond high school to age 18.
    The State’s claim that “The Law” is not arbitrary, inequitable, unreasonable, or an unjust classification, and the claim on what exists is a package of special parens patriae powers in equity that the courts, regardless of legislation, have long used to protect the interests of children of broken homes and to assure that the disadvantages of divorce on these children are minimized, does not comply with Federal or State Constitution. As stated in Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944), there is a “private realm of family life which the state cannot enter” that has been afforded both substantive and procedural protection against arbitrary state intrusion into the intimate relationships of parents and children alike. Similarly, the Court admitted the high responsibilities are right of parents to control the upbringing of their children against that of the State, in which they stated:
    It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.
    Absent a “powerful countervailing interest” of the state in protecting a child’s welfare, Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651 (1972), court action on behalf of a non-parent based on an ill-defined “best interest of children” test is an impermissible burden on parents and on the liberty interests of children to a parent and a measure of family autonomy. That burden includes financial, time that can never be recovered, and privacy sacrifices by the affected family. While the state’s parens patriae interest in protecting children against “harms” or threatened harms is compelling, it does not warrant allowing a judge to invoke this interest against a child’s custodial parent absent a showing that the parent is, in fact, insufficiently protecting the child against harm. Fawzy v. Fawzy, 199 N.J. 456, 473-475 (2009), (“Deference to parental autonomy means that the State does not second-guess parental decision making….[n]or does it impose its own notion of a child’s best interests on a family….Indeed the state has an obligation, under the parens patriae doctrine, to intervene where it is necessary to prevent harm to a child”).
    The Constitution protects the sanctity of the family precisely because the institution of the family is deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 503-04 (1977) (plurality opinion). It has been repeatedly recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court, that parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, especially when the state purports to know better. See M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102, 116 (1996). For the same precise reasons, “The Law,” is unconstitutional, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT EIGHT
    “THE LAW” VIOLATES THE DUE PROCESS

    In Troxel, five Justices made clear that the presumption is not rebutted when there is no special justification for compelling visitation other than the trial court’s disagreement with the parents over whether visitation would be in the children’s best interests. See id. at 72-73 (“The Due Process Clause does not permit a State to infringe on the fundamental right of parents to make child rearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a ‘better’ decision could be made.”); id. at 78 (Souter, J., concurring in the judgment) (finding it insufficient that “a judge believed he ‘could make a better decision’ than the objecting parent had done”). The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition. Simply because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child or because it involves risks does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state. Our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilization concepts of the family as a unit with broad parental authority over minor children See Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979).
    In this case, we have a similar situation that was faced in Troxel, a disagreement between two fit Parents. “The Law” commands that a fit parent be stripped of their fundament right to control the education of a child, simply because a judge arbitrarily and impliedly determines that they can make a better educational decision. It is axiomatic that there is an essential difference between the State and the family under our form of government. Each has a responsibility to govern within its sphere of authority. The State’s power to govern, although encompassing a large population and extensive geographical area, is nonetheless limited in scope. For the same precise reasons, “The Law,” is unconstitutional, because it does not obey rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
    POINT NINE
    “THE LAW” IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL UNDER ARTICLE VIII, § 4, P 1
    & UNDER THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE

    The desire of our Legislature & the Courts to foster homogeneous children of this State is commendable. It is undisputed that our citizens have always regarded education & acquisition of knowledge as matters of supreme importance. However, the right to control a child’s education is the natural duty of Parents to provide their children education suitable to their station in life & all states enforce this obligation with compulsory education laws. For example:
    N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25 requires that “every parent, guardian or other person having custody and control of a child between six and 16 to ensure that such child regularly attends the public schools of the district or a day school in which there is given instruction equivalent to that provided in the public schools for children of similar grades and attainments or to receive equivalent instruction elsewhere than at school.”

    Thus, under the State’s compulsory education law, a parent’s legal obligation to educate their child terminates upon attaining the age of 16. It’s also important to emphasize that there is neither a State nor Federal Constitutional Right to a college education. Nor is there a common law right to a college education. In Washington v. Gluksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 720 (1997) the Court stated, (“the ‘liberty’ specially protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right … to direct the education and upbringing of one’s children.”). The New Jersey Constitution, Article VIII, § 4, P 1, states:
    The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all the children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years.
    Thus, under our State Constitution, “The Law” is unconstitutional; because a parent’s compulsory legal obligation to educate their child terminates upon attaining the age of 18. Our State Constitution has established a Constitutional Right for all of its citizens to participate in free public education and has established compulsory attendance requirement that in no case extend to post-secondary education to children of married, divorcing or single parents. I do not question the power of a State, having a high responsibility for providing free education of its citizens, to impose reasonable regulations for the control and duration of basic education. However, the State’s only compelling & necessary interest with respect to a child’s education is limited to N.J. Const. Article VIII, § 4, P 1 & N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25.
    PARENTS HAVE BROAD PARENTAL AUTHORITY OF THEIR CHILDREN
    As stated in Parham v. J.R., 442 US 584, 602-606 (1979).
    Our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilization concepts of the family as a unit with broad parental authority over minor children. Our cases have consistently followed that course; our constitutional system long ago rejected any notion that a child is “the mere creature of the State” and, on the contrary, asserted that parents generally “have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare [their children] for additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925) … [other citations omitted] . . . The law’s concept of the family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions. More important, historically it has been recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children.
    For reasons stated, “The Law” is an incursion on Parental Authority & unconstitutional, because a fit parent cannot not be statutory or court compelled to educate a child beyond what is required of our State Constitution.
    POINT TEN
    “THE LAW” VIOLATES THE STATE AND FEDERAL
    CONSTITUTION EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE.

    Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution sets forth the first principles of our governmental charter – that every person possesses the “unalienable rights” to enjoy life, liberty, and property, and to pursue happiness. The Equal Protection Clause of Federal Constitution provides that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1. The equal protection clause of the federal constitution requires that similarly-situated persons be treated similarly. It is the definition of unequal protection to grant favoritism or special rights to either of two similarly-situated persons. See F.S. Royster Guano Co. v. Virginia, 253 U.S. 412, 415 (1920). Although our State Constitution nowhere expressly states that every person shall be entitled to the equal protection of the laws, the New Jersey Supreme Court has construed the expansive language of Article I, Paragraph 1 to embrace that fundamental guarantee. Sojourner A. v. N.J. Dep’t of Human Servs., 177 N.J. 318, 332 (2003); Greenberg v. Kimmelman 99 N.J. 552, 567-68 (1985). The first paragraph to our State Constitution “protect[s] against injustice and against the unequal treatment of those who should be treated alike.” Greenberg, supra, 99 N.J. at 568.
    NEW JERSEY EQUAL PROTECTION ANALYSIS UNDER
    LEWIS V. HARRIS, 188 N.J. 415 (2006),
    Under Article I, Paragraph 1, as under the Fourteenth Amendment’s substantive due process analysis, determining whether a fundamental right exists involves a two-step inquiry.   First, the asserted fundamental liberty interest must be clearly identified.   See Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721, 117 S.Ct. 2258, 2268, 138 L.Ed.2d 772, 788 (1997).   In this case, a parent’s fundamental liberty interest to control the education of their children. Second, that liberty interest must be objectively and deeply rooted in the traditions, history, and conscience of the people of this State. Without question, these fundamental rights are deeply rooted in traditions, history & conscience of the citizens of the United States. See King, supra, 66 N.J. at 178, 330 A.2d 1;  see also Glucksberg, supra, 521 U.S. at 720-21, 117 S.Ct. at 2268, 138 L.Ed.2d at 787-88 (stating that liberty interest must be “objectively, deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” (internal quotation marks omitted)). How the right is defined may dictate whether it is deemed fundamental. One such example is Glucksberg, supra, a case involving a challenge to Washington’s law prohibiting and criminalizing assisted suicide.  521 U.S. at 705-06, 117 S.Ct. at 2261, 138 L.Ed.2d at 779.   In that case, the Supreme Court stated that the liberty interest at issue was not the “ ‘liberty to choose how to die,’ ” but rather the “right to commit suicide with another’s assistance.”  Id. at 722-24, 117 S.Ct. at 2269, 138 L.Ed.2d at 789-90.   Having framed the issue that way, the Court concluded that the right to assisted suicide was not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions and therefore not a fundamental liberty interest under substantive due process.  Id. at 723, 728, 117 S.Ct. at 2269, 2271, 138 L.Ed.2d at 789, 792.
    It is beyond argument that every fit parent has a guaranteed fundamental liberty interest to direct the care, custody, education, and upbringing of their children under their control. Without question, these fundamental rights are deeply rooted in traditions, history & conscience of the citizens of the United States. It is important to recognize that there can be no disparate treatment of either of two fit parents as it relates to their constitutional right to make decisions about their children, including choosing the children’s upbringing and education; there is a due-process presumption that both parents are fit and have not relinquished their fundamental right to parent; operation of logic must produce in each parent a right to equal, post-divorce possession of their children and to have equal control over the life decisions affecting those children; and this presumption can only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence that one or both of the parents is unfit. The State cannot, under guise of exercising its police power, interfere with guaranteed liberty interest. “The Law” interferes with the guaranteed liberty interest of Parents to control the education of their child. Within the concept of liberty protected by Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution are core rights of such overriding value that we consider them to be fundamental.   Determining whether a particular claimed right is fundamental is a task that requires both caution and foresight.   When engaging in a substantive due process analysis under the Fourteenth Amendment, the United States Supreme Court has instructed that it must “exercise the utmost care” before finding new rights, which  place important social issues beyond public debate, “lest the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause be subtly transformed into the policy preferences of the Members of [the] Court.”  Glucksberg, supra, 521 U.S. at 720, 117 S.Ct. at 2267-68, 138 L.Ed.2d at 787 (internal quotation marks omitted).  
    In searching for the meaning of “liberty” under Article I, Paragraph 1, we must resist the temptation of seeing in the majesty of that word only a mirror image of our own strongly felt opinions and beliefs.   Under the guise of newly found rights, we must be careful not to impose our personal value system on eight-and-one-half million people, thus bypassing the democratic process as the primary means of effecting social change in this State.   That being said, the Court should never abandon its responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of all of our citizens, even the most alienated and disfavored, no matter how strong the winds of popular opinion may blow. Also, every person is entitled to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and to the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the federal and state Constitutions, and the Court should protect and safeguard these fundamental rights to the extent, if necessary, of declaring invalid any legislative enactment clearly shown to be in violation of them.
    In this case, the State cannot establish that “The Law” is necessary to all children of this State, nor is narrowly tailored to advance a compelling necessary government interest. The State Legislature & Judges have an affirmative duty to obey rulings from the United States Supreme Court interpretation of the United States Constitution. The guaranteed fundamental rights of parents to control the education of their children are not to be sacrificed or yielded to the State of New Jersey, simply because of disagreement between to fit Parent. The Due Process Clause does not allow the State to infringe on the fundamental right of parents to make child rearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a better decision could be made. Also, parents have the freedom of personal choices in family matters. See Santosky, 455 U.S. at 753 (emphasizing this “Court’s historical recognition that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”).
    The State’s only compelling necessary interest with respect to a child’s education is limited to N.J. Const. Article VIII, § 4, P 1. While a State has broad power when it comes to making classifications, it may not draw a line which constitutes an invidious discrimination against a particular class. See Levy v. Louisiana , 88 S.Ct. 1509, 391 U.S. 68 (1968). Any statutory scheme which commands dissimilar treatment for men and women who are similarly situated involves the very kind of arbitrary legislative choice forbidden by the Constitution. See Frontiero v. Richardson, 93 S.Ct. 1746; 411 U.S. 677 (1973). Intact families in New Jersey, cannot be arbitrarily compelled to send their children to college or vocational school. However, parents of divorced or single parents can be arbitrarily compelled not only to pay for their child’s higher education, but can be compelled to pay Adult Child Support beyond the age of majority for a child.
    At one time, the State of New Jersey upheld the Equal Protection Clause of both the State and Federal Constitution for all of its citizens. In Ziesel v. Ziesel, 115 A. 435 (N.J. 1921), the Court had to determine whether to force non-custodial parents to pay for more expensive private high schools for their minor children. Holding that a father is under no legal duty to send his son to boarding school, the court explained that the father could not be compelled by the courts to pay if he were still married, so he must not be compelled as a non-custodial parent to pay for a private school. When a court begins to make rules for the public good, as it said it did in Khalaf v. Khalaf, 58 N.J. 63, 71-72 (1971), without reference to constitutional fundamental principles, it becomes a lawmaking body that has based its decision not on fundamental precepts of law, but rather upon a utilitarian methodology distinctively political in nature. Also, when the court bases its opinions on the effects a rule will have on society in the future and not upon the particular facts of a case, it operates within a political realm reserved exclusively for legislative bodies.
    THE CONSTITUIONAL QUESTION IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER SIMILARLY SITUATED YOUNG ADULT CHILDREN IN NEED OF COLLEGE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE MY BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY?

    In Curtis v. Kline, 666 A.2d 265 (Pa. 1995), the State Supreme Court addressed the question of whether Act 62, 23 PA.CONS.STAT.ANN. § 4327(a), a statute requiring separated, divorced, or unmarried parents to provide post-secondary education support to their adult children, violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court held that the statute violated the equal protection clause because Act 62 classified, without a rational basis, “young adults according to the marital status of their parents, establishing for one group an action to obtain a benefit enforceable by court order [i.e., funds for a post-secondary education] that is not available to the other group.” Id., at 258, 666 A.2d at 269. In doing so, the Court stated that “we perceive no rational basis for the state government to provide only certain adult citizens with legal means to overcome the difficulties they encounter in [financing post-secondary education].” Id., at 259, 666 A.2d at 269-270.
    Like Curtis, there can be no legal basis why New Jersey adult children similarly situated with respect to needing funds for college education, should be treated unequally. “The Law” mandates that a child of divorce or single parents have a greater legal right to a private or college education than a child whose parents remain married. “The Law” unquestionably violates the first paragraph in our State Constitution which “protects against injustice and against the unequal treatment of those who should be treated alike.” Greenberg, supra, 99 N.J. at 568. ). “The Law” also commands dissimilar treatment for young adults according to the marital status of their parents, establishing for one group an action to obtain a benefit enforceable by court order [i.e., funds for a post-secondary education] that is not available to the other group. The framers of the U.S. Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority be imposed generally. Conversely, nothing opens the door to arbitrary action so effectively as to allow those officials to pick and choose only a few to whom they will apply legislation and thus to escape the political retribution that might be visited upon them if larger numbers were affected. Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York, 336 U.S. 106, 112—113 (1949) (concurring opinion).
    “The Law” allows a family court judge to invade an area that has been held dear to the hearts of parents, i.e., the right of the parent to decide how to educate their child? What about the parents’ recourse or control over an adult child? In an intact family, monetary support is very likely tied to acceptable behavior and passing grades. However, a noncustodial parent lacks both the ‘bat’ and the ‘ball.’ If a divorce or single parent is judicially obligated to pay for his or her child’s higher education, the parent has no recourse, as would a parent in an intact family, to ‘make’ the child comply with reasonable educational standards. An ‘adult child’ may suddenly cut off all contact with the parent. The ‘adult child’ may reject the parent’s value system. The court, not the parent, may approve the college of choice for the ‘adult child.’ The child may make unsatisfactory grades or may otherwise refuse to ‘take his education seriously,’ and still, the ‘adult child’ may collect from the noncustodial parent’s tuition money. And what is the noncustodial parent’s only recourse? Hire a lawyer and seek a costly redress in the court system. This seems un-American, impractical and seriously unfair. Moreover, it seems to be a matter that presents a drain on the individuals involved as well as the courts. This system reduces a direct incentive for children to maintain both a civil (and accountable) relationship with the noncustodial parent, and without question, places a noncustodial parent at an unfair disadvantage. As indicated above, while the state’s parens patriae interest in protecting children against “harms” or threatened harms is compelling, it does not warrant allowing any person to invoke this interest against a child’s custodial parent absent a showing that the parent is, in fact, insufficiently protecting the child against harm.
    The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment “is essentially a direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike.” Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc., 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985); see also Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 216 (1982). It has been said that rights cannot exist merely in theory or on paper; they must exist in reality or they are meaningless. See Cooper v. Nutley Sun Printing Co., 36 N.J. 189, 197 (1961) (New Jersey Constitution does not embody rights in a vacuum, existing only on paper. And where rights are not equal in application or practice, then the promise and guarantee of equal rights remains unfulfilled. It is a commendable practice of recognizing when “one of our decisions has consequences that were not fully anticipated.” Pinto v. Spectrum Chems. & Lab. Prods., 200 N.J. 580, 598 (2010). Logically, that axiom is equally applicable when one of its decisions has not had the remedial consequences that the Court anticipated would result. Judges and state officials are ill-equipped to second guess parents and are precluded from intervening in absence of powerful countervailing interests. Zummo v. Zummo, 574 A.2d 1130, 1138 (Pa. Super. 1990), citing Lehr v. Robertson, 463 U.S. 248, (1982). There can be no dispute that, “The Law,” does not apply evenhandedly to similarly situate adult children. Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. (Child Labor Tax Case), 259 U.S. 20, 37, 42 S. Ct. 449, 66 L. Ed. 817 (1922) (reviewing court must strike down unconstitutional law even though that law is “designed to promote the highest good.” I can agree that the good sought in this unconstitutional law is an insidious feature, because it leads the courts and legislators of good purpose to promote it, without thought of the serious breach it will make in the ark of our covenant, or the harm which will come from breaking down recognized standards. The equal protection provision in the New Jersey Constitution “prohibits the State of New Jersey from adopting statutory classifications that treat similarly situated people differently.” (Sanchez v. Dep’t of Human Servs., 314 N.J. Super. 11, 30 (App. Div. 1998)).
    “The Law” also seizes upon a moral obligation. A moral obligation, however, cannot substantiate the imposition of a legal obligation. Although I can agree with the deleterious financial and emotional effects of divorce, these alone do not justify disparate treatment of adult children of divorcing and single parent families from adult children of intact families. These adult children are similarly situated in that they are over the age of eighteen and desire parental financial support for college education. See Grapin v. Grapin, 450 So. 2d 853, 854 (Fla. 1984) (recognizing that the “societal ideal of continued parental support for the education and training” of adult children did not create a legal duty, and characterizing a family court’s order to do so as an “indirect method of compelling unwilling divorced parents to provide college costs for their capable adult children”). In my view, every person is entitled to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and to the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the State & Federal Constitutions. The Court is constitutionally obligated to protect and safeguard these fundamental rights. The Constitution demands that heightened protection be afforded to all citizens against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests.
    In this day and age, it can no longer be said that college is affordable. A parent’s compulsory obligation to educate their child ceases at age 18 under the State Constitution. By its very terms, the “age of majority” implies that a person has become self-sufficient and is responsible for his or her own financial endeavors & actions. When a minor child reaches the age of Majority, the child no longer suffers from the disabilities that previously mandated court protection, such as the inability to manage affairs or enjoy civic rights & living the American Dream. With all due respect, it’s outrageous to require a Parent to seek a Court Order to emancipate an Adult Child who has reached the age of majority. Put simply, there is no need for it. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 amended section 480(d)(1)(C) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to treat as independent any student who becomes an emancipated minor before reaching the age of majority. The specific legislative language is:
    is, or was immediately prior to attaining the age of majority, an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in the individual’s State of legal residence
    The term “emancipation” is often used when a child reaches the age of majority or child support obligations end, but this is not the same as an “emancipated minor”. An emancipated minor becomes an adult able to sign contracts before reaching the age of majority through a court order. A court order terminating child support upon the child’s reaching the age of majority does not qualify, not even if it uses the word emancipation. Let’s be honest, to be a minor child, is to be at risk, dependent and without capacity to decide what is best for oneself. To be adult upon reaching the age of majority is to be a risk-taker, independent and with the capacity to decide what is best for oneself.
    The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Since its founding in 1776, the United States has regarded and promoted itself as an Empire of Liberty and prosperity. Let’s be honest, any healthy adult child has the ability to go to college with or without parental help. The adult child has the ability to work & earn a living. They have the option of going to college full or part time. They have the ability to apply for student loans & pay them back in due course. They also have the ability to apply for grants. Finally, they have the ability to serve our military to help pay for college. It is true that it may be inconvenient for an adult child to pay his or her own way through private college, but there is no legal reason whatsoever why an adult child should not do so if otherwise healthy and able-bodied. An adult child is not in need of support merely because he or she is in school. A decision of parents as to whether or not the adult child should go to college & who shall pay for those educational expenses are matters of right that are purely personal, private, moral and guaranteed fundamental to the parents & to the child. Indeed some parents are willingly & capable of assisting their children in obtaining a higher education, but any compulsory duty would offend the parents guaranteed liberty interest to control the education of their child and our State’s Constitution, notwithstanding that judges are prohibited from making child rearing decisions, unless a parent is unfit and a child can be potentially harmed.
    “The Law” appears to grant favoritism & special rights to a select class of adult children, while totally disregarding our State and Federal Constitution. Our Legislator & Courts presumes these adult children are disadvantage. This presumption is misplaced and cannot and does not rise to a level of harm. The correct presumption is that a fit parent will act in the best interest of his or her child. Absent of harm or a parent being unfit, the State or the Court may not intervene in private educational disputes. Yet another issue deserves consideration here. While a regimen of legal protections for children whose parents abuse or neglect them is surely just and necessary, where did our state legislators and case law get the idea that the rights of children to their “best interests” are automatically superior to the fundamental Constitutional rights of their fit parents? For the same precise reasons, “The Law” does not comply with State & Federal Constitution and is void as matter of Constitutional Law.
    STRICT SCRUITY IS REQUIRED

    Any law impinging on an individual’s fundamental rights is subject to strict scrutiny. San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973). The U.S. Supreme Court has not replaced the strict scrutiny afforded fundamental parental rights with the “undue burden” standard. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), emphasized that abortion was a unique case. Even in that admittedly unique context, a majority of the Justices opposed the Casey plurality’s use of the “undue burden” standard, to the extent it fell below the level of strict scrutiny. To withstand strict scrutiny, a statute must be precisely tailored to serve a compelling state interest. Hoffman v. US, 767 F.2d 1431, 1435.
    Mr. Justice DOUGLAS in Griswold v Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 497 (1965) wrote:
    “In a long series of cases this Court has held that where fundamental personal liberties are involved, they may not be abridged by the States simply on a showing that a regulatory statute has some rational relationship to the effectuation of a proper state purpose. ‘Where there is a significant encroachment upon personal liberty, the State may prevail only upon showing a subordinating interest which is compelling,” Bates v. City of Little Rock, 361 U.S. 516, 524, 80 S.Ct. 412, 417, 4 L.Ed.2d 480. The law must be shown necessary and not merely rationally related to the accomplishment of a permissible state policy.’ McLaughlin v. State of Florida, 379 U.S. 184, 196, 85 S.Ct. 283, 290, 13 L.Ed.2d 222. See Schneider v. State of New Jersey, Town of Irvington, 308 U.S. 147, 161, 60 S.Ct. 146, 151, 84 L.Ed. 155
    Moriarty v. Bradt, 827 A.2d 203, 214–15 (N.J. 2003) Summing up, when the State seeks, by statute, to interfere with family and parental autonomy, a fundamental right is at issue. That statute thus is subject to strict scrutiny and will only pass muster if it is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest. (citing Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 720-21; and Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 155-56.)
    CONCLUSION
    The right of fit parents to direct a child’s upbringing without state interference is one of the earliest recognized liberties guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, a liberty that has been zealously protected by our nation’s highest court. The effect of “The Law” is to interfere with parental rights to make decisions regarding the education, custody, care and management of their children and it likewise intrudes upon their privacy in making such decisions. Fit parents are entitled to the protection afforded under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution when a state temporarily interferes with parents’ fundamental liberty interest in controlling the education of a their child based solely on the arbitrary exercise of a judge’s presumptions that a better decision can be made. The State’s parens patriae interest in promoting the welfare of the child is secondary and triggered only where a child is endangered and parents have been determined unfit. The distillation of these cases means that natural parents have a protected fundamental right to direct, control, care for, and manage their children, including the right to determine how to educate their child(ren) without State interference. “The Law” is so beyond a reasonable doubt in conflict with the State & Federal Constitution, that it should be stricken down as invalid.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This mother launched a smear campaign against her own daughter, and Wendy Saltzman perpetuated it with her tabloid-style journalism tactics. Have you noticed that, not only have none of the other major networks picked it up, but abc stopped reporting this story as well? It’s over, people. Maura McGarvey had her 5 minutes of fame. Time to move on with your lives. There is no new precedent being set; the relevant law has been in place for years. You will probably never know the truth about what happened in this family because Caitlyn has too much class to tell the world the private details of her life, and that is as it should be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rita Smith, I had the pleasure of meeting this mother at a church function over the weekend & I do not believe this was a smear campaign at all. She stated to a mutual friend that her daughter had stopped taking her phone calls & any text or email she or father sent ended up as “Exhibit A” in a motion filed with the courts. She stated she only saw her daughter in court & she would not look at her. She was trying to reach out to the daughter & have her hear what she has to say. I think she felt she was out of options. I wouldn’t use the word class for a person who has held their parents for ransom & sued them. It’s very sad situation but at the end of the day this adult daughter has a lot of growing up to do. Also to grandparents, regardless of what you think of the job the parents are doing raising your grandchildren you really need to stay out of the way. That is not your job. If you think your kid isn’t a good parent maybe you screwed up. I mean really how could someone who grew up in the 40s know what’s best for their 21 year old daughter.

      Like

      • This mother continues to encourage people to say awful things about her daughter, even “liking” comments in which her daughter is called the most vile names.

        Liked by 1 person

      • First — I normally do not post on any blog whatsoever.

        I do not know anyone involved in this post. Rita Smith, I think you are very judgmental and being downright mean to Mom. Regardless of the true story — which in my opinion it does not matter what the true story is — Mom and Dad have made a decision for whatever reason. As an adult, daughter can either agree with her parents’ request or choose not to agree. If she agrees, she can live with her parents, follow the rules and have her college paid for. If she does not agree, then she knows that her college is not going to be paid for. Am I correct? Welcome to being an adult. Part of being an adult is being able to make a decision and know what the consequences will be.

        You have no right to judge unless you walk in their shoes.

        I really do not believe that this is a smear campaign. I think that Mom and Dad have displayed an amazing amount of class while talking to the media and in Mom’s blog. Parents of all teenagers know teenagers. No surprise there. As a mother of four children, when the parents are responsible, loving and caring parents and take care of their children, no court on the planet should tell them how they should parent and what they should or should not pay for. If you read the story well, this law was in place for adversarial divorced parents, not parents who agree with each other.

        I believe that because there are so many judgmental people like you, Mom probably feels that she needs to tell her side of the story. Mom has an absolute right to defend herself to the media.

        With regard to the enabling, meddling grandparents, I believe that if they cared so much to spend all of that money to hire a lawyer for their granddaughter, they should have just paid for her to go school. The ones who look bad in my eyes is not the daughter, the mother or the father. It is the grandparents.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Jackie, first of all, no. You are not correct. She does not live with them, and they have been ordered to pay. You say that I am “very judgmental” and “downright mean.” Have you read the comments people are making about her daughter? Talk about judgmental and mean. When asked (on national tv) how she felt about the threats being directed at her daughter, Maura said, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.” That includes me. Also, no one with any class would write a blog airing all her daughter’s dirty laundry, publicly humiliate her on tv, and encourage hateful remarks about her on fb. Maura is not “defending herself to the media.” The media did not attack her. She used the media to retaliate against her daughter. Caitlyn won in court. She won for good reason. The law itself exists for good reason. It protects the children of divorced parents. You assume that these parents are “responsible, loving, and caring parents” despite all evidence to the contrary.

        Like

      • What evidence do you have that Caitlyn’s parents weren’t loving and supportive? The stories she told you when she was mad at her parents for enforcing rules? I know, teenagers never lie or embellish stories for sympathy. You don’t know me, nor do you know anything about what kind of parent I am.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rita Smith — Because crazy people have threatened the Daughter, you feel the need to bash the mother? You have put yourself on the level of all of those crazy people who are threatening the Daughter. You criticize Mom like you are the perfect parent. Are you? We have no handbook on how to be a parent. Is Mom perfect? Probably not. None of us are. Do I believe that Mom loves her daughter and only wants the best for her? Absolutely.

        What evidence to the contrary? — that they did not pay for college? What defines a responsible, loving, caring parent? – paying college tuition?

        No one said this is a good situation. If the Grandparents encouraged this, then the Grandparents have brought this upon the Daughter. Shame on them. If the Grandparents did not encourage this, then Daughter has brought this upon herself. Daughter started the chain of events that brought this situation to the world. Daughter instituted a lawsuit. College is NOT mandatory.

        She may have won, but the great thing about our court system is that laws can be changed and overturned on appeal. One of the ways these laws can be changed is by using the media to bring this out to the public and the legislature so that these laws can be changed – not for threats. The media and the public are interested in this because the Judge’s decision will affect all parents in New Jersey.

        What dirty laundry? What Mom described above is a typical teenager and typical teenage behavior.

        Because Daughter is so young, I personally find it very hard to believe that she came up with this idea all on her own. Just my opinion, for whatever it is worth. A “good” grandparent would have, first and foremost, encouraged and nurtured the familial bond — not try to destroy it. Sounds like they have destroyed their own relationship with their son — because they said on the news that they should put him in jail if he doesn’t pay. Do the Grandparents sound like a loving and caring parent to you?

        Daughter is giving this up the familial bond for what? Money? The familial bond is worth more than money. I will say this to you. I would NEVER pay my child (and I have 4) to have a relationship with me (tuition or whatever). I would want my daughter to come to me because she loves me and misses me, not because I can give her money.

        I pray for this family because this is going to be a long, painful road for them.

        Liked by 2 people

    • This case is not about a smear campaign, it’s about a Parent’s Fundamental Right to control the education of their children. It is not the job of our Court’s to overrule parental decisions, unless there is potential harm to a child. In this particular case, there is not one iota of evidence that the parents caused any harm to the child. Think about it, if you’re married, your parental rights are respected. On the other hand, if you’re divorcing or a single parent, the court can override your rights, simply because a Judge somehow believes they can make a better decision. I’m sorry, but I value liberty and our Constitution. It’s time for our court appointed judges to do the same.

      Liked by 3 people

      • John,
        I think you are the only person who understands this at all. It is not my place to judge whether the daughter was right or the parents were right, or the grandparents are nuts. Those are questions of fact and I’m sure the public does not have them all, but the LAW is wrong, wrong, wrong. And any melonhead can see that. Why is *this* not the story that is getting all the attention? All Americans should be petrified of this law. I guess it’s not as sexy as mudslinging and the airing of private family greivances. (Assuming you are the same John), your earlier (long) post was on point. If you are an attorney, I hope you and/or other like-minded people can get the attention of state legislators and get rid of this vastly overreaching law (and if we are lucky, whoever drafted it and anyone who voted for it.) If you’re not an attorney, you might think about becoming one. Well thought out and argued, sir. All I can leave you with is this: If you are a parent, never, ever get divorced in New Jersey. I kept thinking that it was a shame that the parents had remarried. If they had not, they could remarry each other and this whole mess would get thrown out, (which, by the way, is ludicrous.) I can’t even.

        Like

    • Caitlyn has too much class?

      Lady, you are an IDIOT. And a poor judge of “class”, unless class in your world is embodied by a spoiled, truculent brat who wants to live as an adult while having her parents foot the bill.

      Is like to point out a few things not being mentioned…first off that the drinking? Caitlyn (the person overflowing with class) was drinking UNDERAGE & that is a crime. It’s the law that you must be 21 or older to drink & Caitlyn broke the law repeatedly. Smoking pot in New Jersey is also illegal & yet…Caitlyn did that as well.

      Why the F@&K are you defending THAT? This witch broke the law! If she had driven, stoned, or drunk & had a wreck killing someone would you still be standing up for her & saying the parents are terrible people that over-react? No, you’d be criticizing the parents for not getting that b!t€h under control. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, these parents are in an impossible situation!

      Most civilized, intelligent responses are from adults, parents themselves who sympathize with the way this girl has made her family suffer, most responses defending Caitlyn are from like-minded brats who also feel that they are entitled to & owed everything…guess what your post SMELLS LIKE?

      The stink of a person who shares the same ideals & values as Caitlyn Ricci. Congratulations, you should contact Caitlyn, I think you two could be besties…seriously, from you attitude, and place no blame on Caitlyn “the world & my parents must give me what I want” Ricci, I think you guys are soul mates.

      As to this mother having her 15 minutes of fame be up? You think she wanted this? To have her home live torn apart? To have a noose tighten her finances & quite possibly restrict her ability to provide for her other children? Children I am certain Caitlyn gives NO F&$Ks about?!?! Because if she did she wouldn’t be applying to such an expensive school. Those kids could lose the clothes off their backs, but as long as Caitlyn is free to shop, get manicures & stuff her fat face with what she wants, well…who cares about her siblings? Her own behavior has shown this to be true & that I am RIGHT.

      How DARE YOU accuse this mother of trying to have 15 minutes of fame over this? Yeah, I’m sure this woman has been happier these last few months than any other time in her life! And we haven’t heard anything else about this ridiculous case because they haven’t had a new court date set, once it happens, it will be in the news AGAIN.

      Caitlyn’s own mother paid her own way through college while caring for Caitlyn, she’s STILL PAYING OFF HER OWN LOANS! Why should Caitlyn get a free ride?

      She shouldn’t. But at least we uncovered the reasoning behind your support of this lazy, entitled party girl…see, you cracked out of turn because no responsible adult would ever condone such selfish & reckless behavior as displayed by Cailtyn. But teenagers? Young “adults” who feel likeminded in their regard of paying their own way? Being responsible for themselves? These are the ones defending Caitlyn. Pieces of sh¡t that feel just like her that someone else should foot the bill because working for what you want?

      Well that’s just too much for you little teeny boppers, isn’t it?

      Sit down & shut your pie hole.

      Like

  10. I do not know you personally but I wanted to tell you that I commend you both. Although you have divorced, you stood together as parents and are now both standing “together” as parents to make your statement to your daughter — as you both should. Whether you have the money for college is irrelevant to me — because if it were me (whether I had the money or not), I personally would not pay to teach my daughter one very hard learned lesson. In the end, no one should tell you how to parent. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. NJ law takes advantage of divorced parents. My husband is forced to pay this ex wife child support and half of his estranged daughters college education. An education that aimless and forever changing majors. My stepdaughter is 21 has 2 jobs pays a car payment, car insurance, cell phone bill and recently paid for a breast augmentation. She is not on track to graduate anytime soon. At the rate she is going she will be 27/28 before she is emancipated. My husband and I have 3 small children and have filed for bankruptcy. We are going to loose our home all because the NJ law does not care for children whose parents stay together. The financial hardship is taking its toll on my marriage and many days I think my children would be better off if my husband had to pay for them like he has to pay for my stepdaughter. 90% of his pay goes to his ex wife and daughter. I worry everyday that everything in our home is going to be shut off or the bank is going to board up our doors. All while we get to see that my step daughter is living life to the fullest. She has the best of everything while we struggle for everything that we have. NJ is tearing families apart and taking advantage of divorced parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s horrible! These courts claim to have the “child’s” best interest in mind, BUT these are no longer “children” – these are adults, who should go enlist in the service if they want someone else to pay for their educations…then pay it back by serving their country…sickening, the whole NJ court system is outrageous! I hope things work out for you…scary situation you’re in!

      Liked by 1 person

    • There are so many stories so similar to yours in some ways and different in othres… tragic all the same, thanks to NJ Family Court failures. But you are wrong about one thing, she is not living life to the fullest… she is wandering aimlessly, as you said, “not on track”. She has no idea where love and happiness can be found. While you struggle, you appreciate each other and know what love is. That is what is real.

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  12. My husband ended up having to pay nearly $250,000 to put his youngest son through court ordered private school despite the fact we are simple middle class folks without the wherewithal to pay for it. His extremely crafty exwife had nearly $1 million in the bank and didn’t have to pay a penny of it. We sold everything we owned of value, borrowed money from my husband’s mother (we still owe her $16k), got a credit card (we still owe $10k on it) and did the boogie woogie dance when he finally graduated high school 2 years ago. He went to college one semester then quit, and he’s been flipping pizzas ever since.

    When he went to court to plead his case, my husband never even got a chance to present his side or speak a single word for his financial case. The lady judge made her decision within the first 5 minutes and that was that.

    People who seek justce in the court system should not necessarily expect to get it.

    (BTW – it’s neither here nor there that my stepson flips pizzas as long as he is the happiest pizza flipper ever – if only it hadn’t been so expensive to get him there!)

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  13. What I find disgusting more than anything else are the intimate details of your daughters “bad behavior”. Putting all thise details in the public eye for your own benefit makea you a horrible mother. Stuff that most people will tell you is fairly typical of kids her age and not necessary worthy of abandoning her to prove a point. You pushed her into this corner and she is rightfully trying to get her life together and looking (again) to her PARENTS for support. Monetary or otherwise.
    And youve failed. Again.

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    • 1. There were no “intimate details” revealed. You have no idea what actually happened in the past few years, so do not act as if you do. I purposely left the intimate details out of my post. 2. Just because it’s “typical teenage behavior” doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. There are other children in this house who need to know that there are consequences for certain actions. 3. Caitlyn was never abandoned. She chose to move out…she has been asked to come home multiple times. She has been offered our guidance and support, financial and otherwise. She doesn’t want it. 4. If anyone was pushed in a corner, it was me when I was sued and ordered to pay money that I don’t have. Despite what you and your friends might think, I am not well off. 5. You can call me a horrible mother as many times as you want; it doesn’t make it true.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Those details were not posted for her own benefit. They were posted to present the evidence for why they did what they did to guide and discipline their daughter, as they have every right and duty to do. The daughter refused to abide by those rules, and left their home. She should have no claim to any further assistance when she willingly left the house that her mother provided, and cut all other ties to her parents.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Except that it’s not really relevant to this case. The parents were not ordered to pay the full tuition. Caitlyn is responsible for a significant portion of her own tuition.

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      • Only because she is insisting on going to a school that is out of our price range. She was offered over 9K a year (the average tuition for any in state school) and her lawyer advised her to turn it down.

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    • That wasn’t a law. It was an interview. And according to this article regarding the rights and duties of divorced parents, you’re missing a key point that should be considered.

      http://www.divorcenet.com/states/new_jersey/njart17

      Scroll down and you’ll see this under factors that the courts must consider when deciding what the parents should have to pay for:

      “the child’s relationship to the payment parent, including mutual affection and shared goals as well as responsiveness to parental advice and guidance”

      Caitlyn has obviously not displayed a relationship of mutual affection, shared goals or responsiveness to parental advice or guidance. She has, however, displayed rebellious behavior, unlawful behavior, unsafe behavior, irresponsible behavior, and just plain rude behavior. If she were my daughter, I wouldn’t pay for her college either. She needs to learn that she can’t always do whatever she wants and still be handed everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Andit is now firmly established that “freedom of personal choice in mattersof . . . family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due ProcessClause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Cleveland Board of Education v.LaFleur, 414U.S. 632, 639 -640 (1974). Mostimportantly, on the issue of Equal Protection, the U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a(once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is nolonger living with his child” could not constitutionally be treateddifferently from a currently married father living with his child.  Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S Ct 549; 434US 246, 255-56, (1978). 

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    • I think a few people are missing the point. Parents control the education of their children, not the courts. This is a fundamental right for all parents. What you have in the State of New Jersey is a Court system that allows judges to make educational decisions in place of parents, without a showing that a parent is unfit. This doesn’t apply if you’re married. Their fundamental rights are respected. If however, you are single or divorcing parent, the court makes child rearing educational decisions for you. I disagree with the law in it’s entirety. Did you know the State of New Jersey and every state in the nation receives federal child support incentives for collecting child support? Government welfare to the states, imagine that! This amounts to millions of dollars, you think this is fair? Hell, if I sue you, I can’t put you in jail, suspend your license and so on. It’s a pure conflict of interest. Also, this is another attempt by our state to continue to receive federal child support incentives to collect adult child support. All parents have freedom of personal choice in family matters. The court is not allowed to treat people differently, let alone treating people like criminals for collecting a debt.
      It is now firmly established that “freedom of personal choice in matters of . . . family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632, 639 -640 (1974). the U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a (once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is no longer living with his child” could not constitutionally be treated differently from a currently married father living with his child. Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S Ct 549; 434 US 246, 255-56, (1978).
      Our legislators and judges need to follow our Constitution, but these federal incentives keep the money rolling in. With all do respect, if you are a firm believer that government knows best, you need to live in Socialist Country, I stand for liberty and nothing else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Over here in Socialist Country (UK), we don’t require that a divorced parent pays for tuition. In fact, parents are not obliged to pay for tuition at all. Socialism has nothing to do with this; this is simply idiocy.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Most people I know did not get their tuition paid for by their married parents. They got loans and worked, if they went right out of high school. College is not essential. In fact, the most successful folks I have known did not even graduate high school.

      Like

  14. My dear new friend … Altho my situation with my own daughter was very different – there is so much identification when I read your post! Yes Yes Yes I get it, I’ve been there, I’m there, and I completely understand you!!! Know that you will be in my prayes +

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So by all means you should fight to not have to pay. If her grandparents can pay for a lawyer they can pay for her tuition. Appeal and hopefully the laws will change and you won’t be entitled to continue to have to pay. If she wants to go to Temple so bad she can pay via Sallie Mae student loans.

    The rest of it however I have one simple piece of advice for you. I’ve been hesitating writing this for several weeks as I fear coming off as insensitive.

    Let Caitlyn go.

    It’s easier said then done, I know. But your daughter has made the choice that she no longer wants to be a part of your family. Whether it is because of drug and alcohol addiction or just selfish, entitled narcissistic behaviour. At the moment she is toxic. You have two boys who don’t need this example in their life. You have a husband and a good life. Your daughter is an adult and has made the choice to treat her parents like strangers. You should repay her in kind. If she isn’t investing the emotional energy to have a relationship with you why should you invest in her? Why should you allow her negativity and entitlement to invade your life more than it already has?

    This sounds cruel but let’s be clear, your daughter is a 21 year old ADULT. Her choices as an adult have been poor thus far and have included taking advantage (and for granted) her loving parents who seem to have nothing but the best of intentions towards her. If she can’t see that then that is her problem not yours. What example are you setting your 2 sons? You must teach them to be strong adults and not be so gullible to allow themselves to be taken advantage of. There comes a point when you have to be hard and make tough decisions even if that means a decision that hurts your own flesh and blood. You have to teach your sons to respect themselves enough to not be bullied and taken advantage of by people like your daughter. You have to show them what to do when someone has violated your trust as your daughter has. That’s how you prevent entitled behavior.

    If your daughter wants to be a part of your life again then she needs to take steps to show she is trustworthy and willing to invest in repairing the relationship. Quit reaching out to her. It’s only showing her that she still has control over you. Don’t allow her any control. Move on with your life. It doesn’t that you’re going to stop missing her and wishing things were different but quit giving her any control over you and move forward. You need to be prepared that you may never see your daughter again. You may see her in a box if her drug and alcohol problems get out of control. You may hear of her having to pay horrible consequences for her actions but you know what? It’s not your fault. Your daughter MADE her choice to be who she is. You have no control over her life why should she have any control over yours? As a parent this has to be tough and it’s not easy to let go but what else can you do? She’s made her choice. She has to live with it and its consequences. She has to live with the fact she has burnt this bridge don’t continue to perpetuate her entitled behavior by trying to rebuild that bridge without her help.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello what part of parents need to be responsible for what’s coming out of their crouches don’t you understand? The law says these parents are responsible and they should be. Just because someone reaches the age of majority doesn’t mean your responsibility ends. You are not considered an independent student with the Dept of Education until you are 24. Did you know that? So as long as children need to use their parent’s financial info to obtain financial aid until they are 24 then the parents should be responsible for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You can vote at age 18. You can die for your country at age 18. You are tried as an adult at age 18. You can pay for your own education at age 18. It’s absurd to contemplate that your mommy or daddy would ever be forced by a court to pay for your college education. So an adult has to pay for another adult’s education. If I want to go back to college now, how about I quit my job, go camp in my 77 year old daddy’s back yard and then sue him for child support and college contribution. Crazy, right? Yea, same crazy at 18.

        Like

      • I think a few people are missing the point. Parents control the education of their children, not the courts. This is a fundamental right for all parents.  What you have in the State of New Jersey is a Court system that allows judges to make educational decisions in place of parents, without a showing that a parent is unfit.  This doesn’t apply if you’re married. Their fundamental rights are respected. If however, you are single or divorcing parent, the court makes child rearing educational decisions for you. I disagree with the law in it’s entirety. Did you know the State of New Jersey and every state in the nation receives federal child support incentives for collecting child support? Government welfare to the states, imagine that!  This amounts to millions of dollars, you think this is fair? Hell, if I sue you, I can’t put you in jail, suspend your license and so on. It’s a pure conflict of interest. Also, this is another attempt by our state to continue to receive federal child support incentives to collect adult child support.  All parents have freedom of personal choice in family matters. The court is not allowed to treat people differently, let alone treating people like criminals for collecting a debt. It is now firmly established that “freedom of personal choice in mattersof . . . family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due ProcessClause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Cleveland Board of Education v.LaFleur, 414U.S. 632, 639 -640 (1974).  the U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a(once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is nolonger living with his child” could not constitutionally be treateddifferently from a currently married father living with his child.  Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S Ct 549; 434US 246, 255-56, (1978). Our legislators and judges need to follow our Constitution, but these federal incentives keep the money rolling in. With all do respect, if you are a firm believer that government knows best, you need to live in Socialist Country, I stand for liberty and nothing else.

        Like

      • So how is she filling out college applications without her parents signature if she is not applying as an independent adult? If she can apply for and attend a college without either signature then she can do it all alone.

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      • I do know that. It’s law that needs to change for both for the benefit of the students and for the benefit of parents along with federal cap on tuition at public universities. A parent paying for a student to get their education is and should always be viewed as a privilege not a right and if she wanted to go to Temple, a school her parents could not afford to send her to then she can get a loan or find other means to pay for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry, but I feel that kids with “entitlement” attitudes got that way with their parents’ help. While I don’t agree with what Caitlyn is doing, I think it was unusually cruel of you to air Caitlyn’s dirty laundry for everyone to see. Caitlyn was young and immature when she did those things – what’s your excuse Maura??? Truthfully, I suspect you are a control freak and that you may have overreacted to her behaviors. If she had repeatedly demonstrated such poor judgment, why in the world did you spend all that money to send her to Disney College??? In any event, if Caitlyn really is the irresponsible monster you’ve made her out to be, then she probably won’t last more than a semester anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. After their divorce, my parents quit making any parental contribution to my college and I had to drop out. I joined the US Army and at the conclusion of my enlistment I had my own college fund and VA assistance. It sounds like that should be the case here. A military enlistment would probably cure that dreaded disease “entitlement syndrome.”

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  18. Why was your husband still paying child support when Caitlyn moved out? According to you, at this point she was 18 and in your words, “her father would no longer be required to pay child support, I would no longer have the money to help her pay for college, etc.

    This is one side of the story. The judge has heard both sides and probably found the truth somewhere in the middle.

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  19. When parents have children part of that is providing for their education. Don’t have kids if you don’t want to be responsible. We need tougher laws that make more parents responsible for their children’s education. Too many parents are getting off the hook for making bad decisions and not saving enough funds for their kids to go to school. I applaud this girl for standing up for her legal rights no matter how “entitled” you think she is for it and it’s also great that the law recognizes the parent’s responsibilities in NJ. Maybe people will start thinking about these things before they have children.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Honestly, you sound like a maniac of a parent. I don’t blame your daughter for a second for leaving. So for the summer, you demanded your daughter get a full-time job and take three college classes? Taking three college classes provides for around 30 hours of work a week. So now including a full-time job, your daughter is working 70 hours a week. On top of that, you give her a curfew as well? So you force your daughter to work 70 hours a week and then you force her to stay home when she’s not working. I don’t really care about whether you have to pay for your daughter’s college or not. You’re just a terrible parent.

    Signed,

    a 25 year old who loves his parents

    Like

    • Your school hours are for your career asshole!… something apparently you don’t have or understand. I carried 21 hours per semester for most semesters in pre-med, and worked 30-40 hours per to pay my own way…. Lots of people do this. It seems everybody in this age group are a bunch of self-centered, narcissistic, pussies that think everything should be handed to them while they spend all their time on facebook. Age of entitlement indeed. There ought to be some way to sterilize the whole lot, and bring in some more motivated, and more deserving, foreign adopted children for replacements. For Christ’s sake!!!!!!!!!!!! Bet you’re one of Caitlyn’s sorry assed, narcissistic friends. I cannot wait for one of your sorry assed spawn to sue you. Come on boy, put it out there!!! Punk!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. As a parent of 2 college graduated adults I applaud this mother! She has to stand up for what is right for the family. Sometime you just cant fix the child. They are who they are, sometimes it is all about them. She is 21, let her fly. It is a shame the grandparents got in the middle. I am sure they had their heart in the right place but their head up their butts. Sometime you have to shame the child to let them know there is right and wrong and good and bad. My daughters knew from the get go, you screw up you get a second chance, you screw up a second time you are on your own! They knew I meant it. You want something you work for it. Yes I did spoil my children but only because they did the family thing with us together. Yes we have alcohol in the house but if it was abused in or outside there would be hell to pay. My daughters always say “we never caused you problems”! Right! That was the plan! They got a crack on the ass if they were out of line (maybe once ever for each of them). For this child maybe they have to say OK, give her the money for this semester, then you are done……. no more, you want more come to the light, come to the family and be a part of us, otherwise live with your consequences, you want family play by our rules not yours. It seems these parents went above and beyond with this child but she got bad advice along the way, TV and the internet will do that, they believe the hype that is thrust in front of them. Mom, stay your ground, love your child, if she wants to come around have open arms but if she wants more money you say “no….. we love you but we say no, that is it, find your way”. Sometimes no is the est thing you can say!

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  22. What’s really sad is that all a potential employer will have to do is Google your daughter’s name, and that will be the end of that. You’re going to pay all of this money for her schooling, and there’s a really good chance she will be unemployed. Suing and winning a court case does not mean that Karma won’t come back and bite Caitlyn in the butt. Hopefully she can’t sue you for that bad decision.

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  23. Reblogged this on Amber's Blog and commented:
    Dear Miss mcgarvey
    let me ask you a question? have you ever a full time job and take three summer collage classes let tell you summer classes are different from regular collage classes first of all regular classes are 16 weeks and summer classes are only two to three months and some classes can be 2 to 3 hours long and sometimes you have to go everyday or two days a week depending on the class. regular classes you go on certain days and are only an hour long. so for you daughter take three summer classes that would take up her time leave no time for a job.

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      • You can’t argue with stupid people – they’ll never get it. These idiots saying YOU did something wrong are the problem in this country.

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      • Maura,
        Not an attack but hoping you might look inward. I am the mom of 5 great kids. Ages 22, 16, 14, 11 & 6. My kids dont suffer from entitlement at all. Reading your blog it sounds like growing up you gave your daughter everything she ever wanted. Then when she started acting out, you tried clamping down. Reading what you wrote i’m not surprised at all with the problems you are having. Kids need stong boundries, discipline and not getting everything they want from day one. You trained your daughter by giving her everything and no wonder why she feels entitled. You gave her too much freedom and didnt give her the right discipline and boundries growing up. You created this situation. Please learn from it. Your daughter will now suffer because of these choices. You have other kids, please learn from your mistakes. Shame on the grandparents for helping her downward spiral. I truly hope your daughter grows up and is able to get back on track. But you must look in the mirror and put the blame where it belongs.., with all those who spoiled her, and created her to be this way. Best wishes to you

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  24. McGarvey, I feel for you. I really do. I know what it is like to be right and truthful, then know the stinging pain to suffer for it. So, in that, understand, you are not alone. How you feel matters and others, like myself, care. We really do. I extend that to all of your loved ones but, mostly, to your ex-husband, two boys and your daughter.

    You asked, what should you do or how should you explain all of this to your boys. Tell them the truth. Tell them exactly what happened. Live by those words, every day. Explain exactly how it made you and your ex-husband feel as a mother and a father. Do not shelter them. It will not be easy. They will not understand. Not for a long time, so, forgive them their inexperience of youth. They will understand, once they have children and those children grow to maturity. And, tell them, they, too, will have a choice to make, one day, just as their sister did. It’s okay to tell them, you expect more of them.

    I will not presume to know too much but, there’s a lot of people, here, who seem not know what they are talking about. You know what I mean. Your parents. You’ve seen this before. You know how it works. It doesn’t go away on it’s own. Even with treatment, it is only controlled. In a very real way, it will always be there, lurking in the shadows. Only she can wrestle this thing into submission. You have to be there for her on the day that she succeeds.

    Live for that day. Until that day, stand your ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wow… first I’d like to say that if I had a blog with a bunch of strangers criticizing my child and saying awful things about her, I’d pull the plug. I don’t know how you read these comments and expect your child to forget that not only did you let them sit on the internet, your words are what they’re responding to. I’m sure if all those letters and poems didn’t get through to her, this will certainly make some sort of statement.
    Second, I’m going to reiterate: if she were living at home (as you expected her to, per your words above) and she filled out a FAFSA, your income, your husband’s income, and her father’s income would all be factored in and the federal government would come up with the “Expected Family Contribution”. It’s on all of them. I grew up pretty poor and still had one. You may very well be on the hook for this money anyway. And the government won’t care that you’re estranged. They will expect her to have this information because she isn’t considered independent until 24 or 25. They keep moving the age… It used to be 21 or two years living on your own (or marriage or a child). If you can’t afford your expected family contribution, there are federal loans that you can apply for just like the ones you expect Caitlyn to get. I don’t know why you haven’t expressed any pride that I’ve seen in the fact that your daughter worked hard enough, despite all the partying that you claim she did, to make good enough grades in community college to get into Temple.
    Third, to say that you’re not going to pay a single cent of that money until she works on a relationship with you (i.e. does exactly what you say) is pretty much equivalent to just wanting the money, which is what you accuse her of. So if she comes to dinner once a month, you’ll gladly hand over the money? What hoop do you want her to jump through in order to invest in your child’s education? Sometimes being right isn’t the most important thing.
    And last, I am sorry I find it hard to believe that with all the vacations and camps and Disney programs, this is just the financial hurdle you can’t climb. Personally, I would’ve made sure there was a college fund before I made sure that she got to go to drama camp.

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  26. Best of luck to the parents– I hope you can find a way to deal with this and keep your sanity intact. Best of luck to the daughter in being able to come forward and apologize years down the road (hopefully not too many), so that life (which is short) within the family can truly begin to heal and hopefully, be enjoyed at some point. I’m sure these are not perfect parents. I don’t think anyone suggests that. Undoubtedly, there are things we don’t know– but who cares? If this girl had been physically abused, perhaps she could sue for damages. However, she’s suing for college tuition. Parents: If you can stand the fight, keep appealing.

    As I walked to pick up one of my children from school today, I thought, “What would I do if my daughter was suing me?” Who knows. I suspect I would find whatever resources I could and fight. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. Maybe it’ll be even more expensive. But to accept the verdict that I pay for my 21-year-old daughter’s out-of-state tuition wouldn’t sit right. I think it would teach her the wrong thing, as well. Although she’s an adult, she still looks to her parents for good examples– or will– at some point. Keep yourself sane, but if you can fight it, keep it up. Try not to think about your ex-in-laws who sound like they suck. Try not to dwell on your daughter and her life right now. I advise you don’t “let her go”, but definitely, try to have a life and simply let her know you love her, you’d like to see her, and the door’s open. Then leave it for awhile. I’ve never been in this situation, so maybe you can’t do that. Looking in from the outside, it seems like good advice.

    To the morons in their early 20s or even early 30s who’ve commented about the expected school hours conflicting with expected work hours: You’re morons. Maybe it was too difficult for you. Sorry that you’re not made of stronger stuff. Some of the rest of us aren’t quite so pathetic. Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day. You need/really need about 9 of them for sleeping/eating– maybe up to 11 with down time, traveling to and fro, etc. That leaves you 13 hours. Three summer classes is full-time in the summer– but it’s not undoable. I did it in 2007 and 2008 while also being a full-time mom and working every week about 20 hours. One of my classes was a film production class– and required about 1.5 times the amount of a regular upper level 3000/4000/5000 class would take. Granted, it wasn’t the best summer. It was hard on my daughter, who was 4 at the time. But we all made it through, and she’s an awesome kid who’s had an education in watching her parents put mom through college.

    I graduated high school early– because I wanted to leave home. I hated my parents at 17, I was an underage drinker and regular pot smoker (and I don’t really have a huge problem with drinking or pot on an occasional basis when you’re in college, when you’re camping with adults, whatever– as long as you’re responsible about it), but I was very destructive about it. I did a couple years of college, paying my way– working 40 hours a week as an assistant manager of a group home of autistic individuals who often bit, scratched, and hurt me, and defecated in public places (and were awesome to work with– but it was a stress-filled job), and working as a waitress at Village Inn 20 hours a week. On top of this I took 14-17 credit hours (semester hours) at the local community college, and regularly got over 3.5 GPAs. It sucked– but I earned a trip to Europe– and rebuilt my relationship with my parents (who offered to help pay for tuition, but I declined. I wanted to know I’d done it. I didn’t want to feel like I owed anyone). Then I took time off of school– river rafted, traveled, camped, and went back after my husband and I had a 3-year-old. We enrolled her in the awesome model preschool at my university, and I went full-time Spring/Fall/Summer– every semester– and found time to work 20 hours a week– be a full-time mom (and we did A LOT of fun stuff and enjoyed each other and our neighborhood), and I got 3 back-to-back academic scholarships and was continually on the Dean’s List. It has taken me over 8 years to graduate– and I’ve worked from home the entire time. Our kids are great– we’re not perfect– but we have fun, they’re smart, and things are great. So again, to the morons in their early 20s mostly, and at least one in their early 30s (my age) who suggest this mom is psycho for suggesting their daughter have a plan– wtf? How hard is it to go to a few classes and also work when you have a good 13 hours every day to study, make good grades, and then put in 6 hours of work? It seems hard when you’re going through it– and it is. But is it any harder than what many of the people around the world do to survive? Get a fucking life. You people seriously suck. I have a couple millennial li’l brothers, and they and their wives are great— but seriously– there are so many fucking stupid millennials out there– makes me very nervous for their combined voting power in the future and how their combined stupid will impact the minority.

    Hoping this law in NJ changes soon– I lived in Jersey as a nanny in the late 90s. Beautiful state, but lots and lots of helicopter parents. I remember one such advising the folks I lived with/was aupair for that their son brush his teeth better because his only child, a daughter, just couldn’t cope with his breath during the morning carpool commute. Time to do something about entitlement over there– parenting is rough and we all make mistakes– but something obviously sucks in New Jersey.

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  27. I completely understand the heartache that you parents and your family of this “entitled adult” have been put through. I am going through something similar with my “entitled 15 year old” daughter – although we live in a different state. My daughter has been telling lies, sneaking out, met a couple boys/men online, had sex with at least 2 people I know of, gotten pregnant then miscarried, done SPICE, Weed, drank, sluffed school, had a bad attitude and so on since she was about 12. We have had her in counseling on and off again, supported her, tried to motivate her to do sports, well in school, not go for looser guys, do chores, be honest, etc… She uses the I’m depressed or suicidal card a lot which is why I think we have been delicate with how we handle her. She has never been hit or physically disciplined. I have yelled at her when I find out a doosie of a lie or situation she got herself in. She had previously told family, friends, neighbors, etc. that she was scared of me and gave very good and believable stories of how mean I was and so on… thankfully through the years almost all of these people have come to know that she is manipulative and lies and so although they may have originally supported her thoughts, they have since realized that I am not the problem. My husband and I are very open to communication with her, we say sorry in our home alot and have no problems admitting to our faults. We simply ask that our daughter go to school, doesn’t have sex with 18 year old’s, clean her room and do 1 chore a day (could be as simply as loading or unloading the dishwasher), not do drugs and just be honest. We repeatedly give her chances or do-overs when she makes mistakes and so on. We say I love you alot however with her lies and accusations and poor choices it has left us with the need to check up on her and most of the time when we do, we find out she was not telling the truth. She has taken this as us putting pressure on her, causing her to be depressed or suicidal and so on. Yet, she has no problems calling us from school to get her Taco Bell, Wendy’s or a homemade grilled cheese sandwhich or pick up Chinese food at night like she likes it or saying she wants to spend the night, go the the movies, shopping, etc. We are fine then just not the rest of the time I guess… according to her. She would normally cry and say she was sorry when she got caught (whether or not she meant it was another thing). However she and her 15 year old extremely rebellious friend have decided to take it to new heights in the last 2 weeks. It all started when we received a call from the school asking if we had checked her out of school. We said we hadn’t. The school said someone called pretending to be her mom and she was checked out. So here we go again… Where did she go? I call around to see if anyone might for some reason checked her out (as she had gotten her grandma, aunt, etc. to do it for her in the past). Everyone tells me no. I ask her good friend Kelsey (aka partner in crime) if she pretended to be me, she told me no. I had a hunch it was her but she denied it. Well as usual a couple hours go by and I get a call from my daughter. She denies ever leaving school and says the school admin was mistaken that she was there but that she did cry in the bathroom for a while that day. I told her she was a liar and asked where she went. She hung up the phone. I call my husband to go to the school to check on things and am on my way there as well. Well I get there and my daughter, husband and her friend Kelsey are in the school counselors office. My daughter is crying and acting like she hates me. She tells the counselor that she hates being at home, wants to be emancipated and that we make her depressed, etc. We were there for an hour at least listening or giving feedback on what we think she needs to do – STOP lying, start thinking about what she has and just start making good choices but of course she doesn’t want to hear it. We end up leaving and think the drama is over for the time being. We are not yelling at her or anything, simply go home, she goes to her room (by her choice) and that is it. Well the following day she or someone she told her poor me lies to calls Child Protective Services to report abuse to her. Wow! After all the hell she puts us through, she now has turned to making claims that can have severe consequences to me personally and my family. My heart broke. I cried and cried and felt so empty and sad that she could make this up. Meanwhile the day after that she called the Sheriff’s on my husband and I because we would not let her spend the night at Kelsey’s house (we said no because Kelsey’s parents weren’t home). So here we have 4 Sheriff vehicles roll up in front of our house based on the report she made. Another knife to my heart! I can’t believe she would do this. The cops tell her friend to go home and support us in the fact that she does not just get to go do what she wants. They give her what they call the “15 year old talk” and my daughter comes in the house. Still she feels so entitled and justified in calling the cops. The following day a Child service case worker knocks on my door to interview me. I start from the beginning and provide numerous examples and history on when/how this started back to when she was 12.Then the following day, CPS comes to interview me and my husband again. We are now on trial because our daughter lies. I believe the CPS worker understands we are telling the truth but the case is still open. This has been the hardest thing to go through. Our daughter who we love dearly and have loved from the moment she was in my belly is just to cold and distant. I have tried to give her the world and done my very best to be understanding. But I have finally realized that despite all this, she is still going to be this way unless by some miracle she feels remorse and decides to change. I don’t know if that will ever happen. It is very hard for me as a mother as I will get calls or texts from neighbors or friends asking how she is doing or people that drop by little messages of hope for her or invitations to go out so she can feel better. Nobody seems to ever ask the same things about the mothers going through this. I don’t get a call or a hug or a shoulder to cry on when my heart is so broken I care barely muster the strength to get through the day. She still has not said sorry, retracted her lies or taken responsibility for her actions or the pain caused. I pray that God will help her become a wonderful young lady. My thoughts and prayers go out to all parents and the kids (both the aggressor) and the ones affected by these troubled teens/adults actions. Like that saying goes, Be Calm, Stay Strong and know that I (God) is with you.

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  28. McGarvey24– Your daughter is spoiled and entitled– I hope the decision is reversed, legal system is seriously failing you and your daughter. She moved out, made her bed and now she should sleep in it. The grandparents likely will bail her out (shame on them) or someone else will, but should not. She should fall on her face (already has) and then get up and take care of herself. I hope she does. You both seem like decent parents and people who have a troubled daughter– not always the fault of parents, sometimes it just happens. College education is not a right. Personally I would not pay a dime. Let her figure it out and grow up. That being said I do not think you should be asking for handouts for your legal fees. Sends the wrong message– even to your daughter– next thing she will have a gofundme page to also pay for her college. Just would re-think that. How can you tell her to be an adult work hard and not ask for handouts, and you turn around and ask for handouts. Just my opinion– but in general I think you and your ex have done the right things–now time for tough love and your daughter needs to make serious changes in her life and live by herself.

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  29. Without knowing the exact situtation, your rules sound somewhat unreasonable. It sounds to me like you wanted to overly control your adult child by giving her these rules such as a curfew which you did not list what time – 11pm is very different than 3am. If the law in NJ is to pay for her education then that is the law. It is not up to you to put random stipulations on behavior and working full time before you obey the law and pay for her education. You also seem to put a lot of blame on her grandparents. And finally I find it rather humorous how hypocritical your parent age generation is when it comes to drinking alcohol. You even mention her drinking in the few weeks before she turned 21. Sorry but how can anyone take this seriously being told not to drink at 19 or 20 by parents who were allowed to drink at 18. The whole post reeks of “I’ve made these mistakes before when I was your age and will do everything I can to control your adult behavior and keep you from making the same mistakes because I know what’s best!”

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  30. You have a second vacation home at the Jersey shore, yet you cannot afford out of state tuition?! That’s puzzling.

    And yes, she IS entitled to a university education: if she was raised her entire life to-date expected by everyone and anticipating going to college. Not having her college degree WILL effect the rest of her life negatively.

    Maybe you were being too controlling – you forced her to initially attend a community college?! What a disappointment that must have been. Lots of divorced parents manage to send their kids to very expensive universities – maybe both of your new families became more important and more of a spending priority. It could not have been very easy for your daughter growing up with divorced parents who the went on to have more babies – two sets of step siblings and probably no stability.

    Then you went on TV!

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    • Hi Hattie! I just wanted to say that you sound clueless. I’m from NJ so I know the law. It is antiquated and unjust. Parents should not be required to pay for college. My husband comes from a divorced family and has put himself through college, grad school and his PhD all on his own. Student loans, FASFA, scholarships, grants–there are options. Secondly, people like you do a disservice to the excellent Community Colleges New Jersey has to offer. Mercer County Community College, Brookdale Community College, etc. They are fantastic! Plus the credits transfer to excellent universities nearby. She is not entitled and no one should be. Work hard for what you deserve. And from what the public court documents say, it sounds like she doesn’t deserve any special monetary reimbursement.

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      • The State of New Jersey routinely discriminates & treats Divorcing & Single Parents (Mainly Fathers), differently from intact married Parents. The U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a (once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is no longer living with his child” could not constitutionally be treated differently from a currently married father living with his child. Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S Ct 549; 434 US 246, 255-56, (1978). That being said, New Jersey Post Majority Support Laws are unconstitutional, unfair and extremely discriminatory.

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      • Laura, I don’t believe in the concept of entitlements. This is Socialism on it’s face, whereby you claim government is always right. I have to disagree with you. Take a look at our State Constitution.
        The desire of our Legislature & our Courts to foster homogeneous children of this State is commendable. It is undisputed that our citizens have always regarded education & acquisition of knowledge as matters of supreme importance. Indeed, many children pursue some form of education after they reach the age of majority (18). The State openly claims to have a discriminatory legitimate interest against only Single & Divorcing Parents, (Mainly Fathers), by compelling & insuring that these Fit Parents continue to provide a new error of child support, called Adult Child Support & College Contribution to support their adult children in their efforts to pursue a college education.

        To be honest, I find these laws to be extremely discriminatory & unfair against a select class of Fit Parents & on its face circumvent Article VIII, § 4, P 1, which states:
        The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all the children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years.

        Thus, under our State Constitution, “Post Majority Support Laws” are unconstitutional; because a parent’s compulsory obligation to educate their children terminates upon attaining the age of 18. The State’s Statutory & Case Law does not “trump” our State Constitution, nor our Federal Constitutional protections of fundamental liberties. Our State Constitution has established a Constitutional Right for all of its citizens to participate in free public education and has established compulsory attendance requirement that in no case extends to post-secondary education to children of married, divorcing or single parents. I do not question the power of a State, having a high responsibility for providing free education of its citizens, to impose reasonable regulations for the control and duration of basic education. However, the State’s only compelling interest with respect to a child’s education is limited to N.J. Const. Article VIII, § 4, P 1. It’s also important to emphasize that there is neither a State nor Federal Constitutional Right to a college education. Nor is there a common law right to a college education. “PMS” is unconstitutional, because all New Jersey Parents cannot not be court compelled to educate a child beyond what is required of our State Constitution.

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  31. I’m sorry to say this — because I suspect no mother wants to hear negativity directed to their child — but your daughter is absolutely heinous and foul. Once a child reaches the age of 18, they are an adult, and the choice to go to college is a decision they make for themselves. Any expenses incurred are entirely their responsibility. I never asked my parents to pay for my tuition. I took out loans and accumulated a debt. I didn’t expect them to pay, because going to college was ultimately my choice. The consequence of this choice (the need to pay for tuition) is not the responsibility of the parent, but of the adult who made the decision to enroll.

    The law which forced you to pay for her tuition is absurd. The judge who sided with her is a complete dolt and his judgeship should be revoked. The grandparents who paid for the lawyer should feel terribly ashamed.

    But your daughter, through this blatantly selfish act, will have her karmic comeuppance. She is probably experiencing a fair share of it now due to the media coverage of this case. She will eventually have her degree from the tuition you’ll pay for (that is, if this ridiculous case doesn’t turn in your favor, as it should). She will go out into the workforce and send out applications. Some human resource manager will see her name on a resume and instantly dismiss her. The internet has already made her into something one-dimensional–an entitled little bitch. And that is what will follow her for many years. She’ll meet some nice fella who asks for her number, who then proceeds to search for her name on google to only discover what an ugly person she is. Who would be attracted to that kind of behavior? Her selfishness and greed ruined her life. She was too stupid to foresee the implications of her actions. And, as for all of this unanimous vitriol–she deserves it.

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  32. I can’t believe this. I am going through the EXACT same thing. I was a single parent too… only to four (4) children after leaving my abusive ex-husband. My mother was my abuser when I was growing up, which is what I learned in therapy and why I married an abuser. I won a landmark case and removed three (3) judges to get justice for my children so they wouldn’t experience anymore abuse. Now all these years later I am having to deal with the abuse again of my mother. It’s insane! My mother plays the religious card, praying and appearing all perfect and good but then behind my back she lies to people and plays the “wonderful grandma” role and claims that I cannot parent, but she and my dad, who has always been afraid of her, have enabled my spoiled brat children to do whatever they want. My parents have undermined me continually! It has been a living hell now that my children are late teens. My parents bought my children cars, gifts, gave them money, you name it. All the hopes and dreams I had for my kids are gone. I worked and hussled so many years to get off welfare and put a roof over my children’s heads. Most of all, I treated them with love and respect, vowing to break the cycle of domestic violence I had grown up with… it is so heartbreaking. Lately, I can’t seem to get through the day without crying. The highschool administrators all support me. I set up a meeting with my daughter and the principal soon after she moved in my with parents. I predicted that it would be a disaster. That was 6 weeks ago. Yesterday, she got detention and has had to stay after school. Her grades have gone from straight As to C’s D’s and F’s. I’ve met with all her teachers, and several understand what I’m going through. We are responsible to get them through graduation. I am going to meet with a lawyer to see if I can sue my parents to get her home. My mother abuses prescription drugs and I believe its possible that us parents can turn the tables if we stick together. I am hoping to create a Youtube channel where parents can come and we can make changes happen across the country. This is crazy, absolutely crazy and it is ruining our children!

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    • So sorry to hear of your situation. That being said I have a couple thoughts. As I read your comments it really sounded like you were playing the victim here. Everyone is against you. Well they are not. You worked and got off welfare that is commendable and a great example for your children. However, no one said life was fair, and I would hope you learned that as well as “you can not control what others do or say ONLY how you react to it”. Sorting through all the BS– this is what I see: Kids seem to be well adjusted, and your Mom and Dad are not. You state you are getting abused again by Mom– your choice. If this woman is such a problem and a not good person in your life why is she still?
      I would cross her off my list. Let them buy things for your kids. You just keep doing what you are doing. Period. Take care of your kids to the best of your ability. Stop trying to control or even care about what your Mom and Dad say to them, and do not listen to what they say to you. Eliminate the drama– you are creating it too. If you daughter chooses to live with them and does not care about school there is nothing you or anyone can do about it except let her know how you are disappointed with the effort and results. Care about her, love her and if she needs professional help or there is a problem in her life and she is crying out for help by making lousy grades then help her. If she wants to live with them then she does. If she just wants to make bad grades then it is her choice. She is old enough to decide. You cannot force her to do or feel anything. Nor can you with your parents. But you can CHOOSE how you interact with them. Just be gracious, rise above it all, and just do the minimum. Do not invite them over, do not engage them. You may not even need to provide transportation unless your children want to see them. Then drop off and be cordial and leave. Do not do anything more than simple gracious comments, and ignore any drama or nonsense. I would speak to both of them privately and discuss the new normal. Due to their lack of respect, and as you say “abuse” (an over used word which sometimes is nothing more than disrespect and annoyances– but I am not minimizing what happened to you in the past.) you will reduce the exposure to them by your choice. It will only involve the kids when they want to see them alone. It will not involve you hosting. If they cross the line then you are within your rights to stop letting them see your parents. Once they are old enough for college or on their own– I would move away and live peacefully. Until then– rise above it and limit your exposure and let them know why. People always complain about others and how people treat them. But they allow it to happen. I am simply suggesting that you do not allow it anymore. Set your own rules and empower yourself. If your children ask– tell them objectively why you are backing off from your parents– that you love them, but do not like the way you are treated and therefore you choose to give them space. Choose to live your life peacefully and drama free. You will be happier and your children will understand that they can choose to accept disrespect and abuse when it gets that bad from others or choose to not allow it. Children are too young to understand abuse and just take it– but when people get older and still take abuse and disrespect– well then that is their own fault. Lastly, good luck and you also need to work hard to allow your children to fail at times– they will learn from it and build confidence that they can overcome life’s challenges– too many parents today are “helo” parents and they are so over involved in their children’s lives and protect them from “life” that they end up adults who are afraid to live and unable to cope, or overcome any type of adversity. That is a disservice to the children, and a failure on the part of parents and teachers.

      g

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  33. As I read this post from Ms. McGarvey, I see that this is an issue of addiction. As a recoverying alcoholic and gambling addict, I am here to let you know, there is nothing you can do to help your daughter out of her addiction or behaviours. She must make the decision to get clean and work a 12-step program of recovery. In the meanwhile, I invite you to attend al-anon to help deal with your past (you mentioned you have alcoholic parents) and your present situation.

    As much as it is difficult to hear and accept, your daughter’s addiction and behaviours have nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with feeding her addiction and her sense of self.

    I wish you all the luck in the world. There is nothing more painful to watch someone you love spiral out of control.

    Susan O.

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  34. “These are people who have undermined my parental decisions repeatedly throughout the past 20 years, despite the fact that the only reason they even have a relationship with Caitlyn is because of me. Because I put Caitlyn first, and allowed her to continue to visit with her grandparents despite my ex-husband’s objections. My reward for being the bigger person is having them pay for my child to sue me.”

    Did you undermine your ex-husbands parenting decision, as it relates to keeping his daughter away from his parents, in order to create a relationship where his parents undermined your parenting decisions? I’m not sure if writing ‘Because I put Caitlyn first’ mitigates your culpability in fostering the grandparent/grandchild relationship which was objected by your ex-husband, and has ultimately been a catalyst to the current issue at hand. I wonder why you would continue to foster a relationship with people who, for 20 years, undermine your parenting decisions. I ask this with all due respect ma’am out of sheer curiosity and genuine intrigue. I think this is an area where you can say “I take some blame”, because I don’t sense that you feel much blame, though you may. I wonder why you reference yourself as ‘the bigger person’ because you fostered a relationship between your daughter and people who obviously never had too much respect for your parental decisions. Do you not feel any responsibility for your role in helping his parents develop this type of relationship with your daughter? I don’t mean to question you, per se, and I certainly am not trying to agitate you during this difficult time in your life. You’ve willingly opened yourself up for scrutiny and these are just questions from a stranger on the internet.

    A much better title for this blog would be, “I raised a spoiled child that became a vindictive adult who used the court system to legally extort me.”

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  35. How do we all move ahead and heal from this? My daughter also sued me in court to pay her “student loan”, and she won. I was ordered to pay 19k within one year. I paid her debt but since have been struggling financially. She will soon start a nursing job, making great money, with no debt, while Mom carries her burden. How do we forgive? My relationship with my daughter is cracked, to say the least. I cant even be in the same room with her with out getting angry. Part of me feels like the day she walked into that court room she lost my love, trust and respect. I miss who my little girl once was, but this 22 year old girl I dont know, dont like and dont trust. I cant get past how these kids can do this to their parents and look themselves in the mirror everyday. Do I just slam the door on her and forget her?

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    • There is no doubt, you and your former spouse are good parents. In my view, she is abusing this unconstitutional law and throwing it in your face. You have to let go and maybe one day she will wake up and smell the coffee. I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but you deserve peace and definitely respect.

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  36. What everyone here seems to forgot is that even though your are commenting from your own experiences, no one has the same experience as each other or the family. We forget that each person is different and unique. In this day and age we have come to believe there is a standard measurement for individuals. There is not. No two people are the same. Not one adult or child is exactly like another one. What may work for you may not work for your neighbor or anybody else. Some people when the pressure is applied, buckle down and get things done. Others will fold. Some will try their hardest because its what they want, others will try their hardest when being yelled at. A young man from a bad neighborhood will work hard to get out of said neighborhood, another may give up and become a thug. No story is ever the same. To think that you know where this mother and child are coming from is to be ignorant. The truth of the matter is there is not right answer here. No matter who is wrong or right damage has been done and it is up to all parties to make it right. Whether that happens is not up to us commentators. It is up to the individuals who this article is about. And thinking that by arguing with each other we help this family in anyway shape or form is foolish. Remember we are all making comments based on our own life experiences. What may have worked for us may not work for them. Best thing we can do is wish them well and hope that the family will heal or come to terms with each other.

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