A college-age woman sued her parents after they refused to pay her tuition, and the woman’s grandparents supported her, claiming the money was rightfully hers.
The New Jersey parents had to pay $16,000 when a judge ordered them to contribute to their 21-year-old daughter’s education in November 2014.
Caitlyn Ricci won a lawsuit against her parents, with whom she had not spoken for almost two years.
“What kid does that? It’s crazy,” said Caitlyn’s mother, Maura McGarvey Action News at that time.
Caitlyn’s father, Michael Ricci, explained, “She comes from two loving families and was given what she wanted growing up.”
However, Caitlyn fought her parents to pay her out-of-state tuition at Temple University.
Caitlin had lived with her grandparents while estranged from her parents, who had raised her together for most of her life.
However, there has been controversy over how Caitlin was separated from her parents.
Her father said: “Instead of following our rules, she decided to leave her mother’s house where she lived and move in with her grandparents.”
However, Caitlyn’s attorney, Andrew Rochester, said Caitlyn was kicked out of the house by her mother and that she did not choose to leave the house alone.
“‘Caitlyn is a spoiled brat,’ and that was the nicest thing either of them ever said about Caitlyn,” added Rochester.
Angela Ricci, Caitlyn’s grandmother, defended her granddaughter.
“How would you relate to your parents if they don’t want to contribute to college?” she asked.
Caitlyn’s grandparents not only stood by her, but also played a role in the lawsuit by paying the attorney who was suing their own son – Caitlyn’s father.
“I think she just wants money. She wants us to pay for her education. She feels she owes this,” her mother Maura said, adding that like all teenagers, Catilyn is a “challenging kid.”
However, Caitlyn’s attorney Rochester said she was “really a good girl.”
“She is the kindest and sweetest girl. She just wants to go to college.”
The judge, who ruled in Caitlyn’s favor, cited precedent in New Jersey that says divorced parents may have an obligation to contribute to their children’s education.
The precedent is called Newburgh and applies regardless of the age of the child.
Caitlyn’s parents not only had to pay $16,000 that school year in 2014, but they also had to contribute to her tuition for years to come.
Caitlyn’s grandfather Matthew Ricci said: “It’s the law. It’s the law in New Jersey. Look at the law. And two judges said she had to pay.”