N.J. teen sues parents to pay for college

They’re so cute when they’re small. Then they hit the teenage years, tell you how much they hate you and how they wish they’d never been born, they go into their room for a few years and come out and tell you what college they want you to pay for.

That’s the typical cycle of parenthood life. Everybody gets over it. Eventually.

But Rachel Canning’s decision to sue her parents to pay for her college would be funny if it weren’t so sad for all involved.

The New Jersey teen, who wants to be a biomedical engineer and already has several acceptance letters from colleges and universities is asking a judge to declare her “unemancipated” from her parents, who she says threw her out of the house when she turned 18.

It’s not just a fight over college bills, though. The parents haven’t paid the $5,000 tuition they owe to the Catholic high school young Rachel attends.

Says the Daily Record in Parsipanny:

The father contended that Rachel moved out because she didn’t want to abide by simple household rules — be respectful, keep a curfew, return “borrowed” items to her two sisters, manage a few chores, and reconsider or end her relationship with a boyfriend the parents believe is a bad influence.

“We’re heartbroken, but what do you do when a child says ‘I don’t want your rules but I want everything under the sun and you to pay for it?’ ” Canning said, adding that his daughter’s college fund is available to her and not withdrawn or re-allocated, as she has alleged.

She is also asking the court to order her parents to pay her $12,000 legal bill.

Of course the story goes just beyond whether she is emancipated from her parents. Fundamentally, the question is whether any parent has any obligation to pay for a child’s higher education.