WTVM 3/7/14 Editorial: 18-year-old New Jersey woman sues parents for financial support

WTVM 3/7/14 Editorial: 18-year-old New Jersey woman sues parents for financial support

(WTVM) - The case of the 18-year-old New Jersey woman suing her parents for financial support after she left home to live with a friend has captured the attention of families around the country.

Rachel Canning left home angry at her parents over their rules and defying them by continuing to see a boyfriend her parents think is trouble.

They just want their daughter to come home.

Rachel says she is entitled to an expensive private high school education and college tuition and her parents should pay.

It's always sad when families tear themselves apart - especially in public.

The judge refused to make the parents pay -- for now -- and urged counseling until a trial date is set.

Most children are considered adults when they turn 18. But in New Jersey, the law states parents can sometimes be held financially responsible for children over 18, even if they are not living at home.

We don't know Rachel or her parents. Some people see her as "spoiled," and point to her suspensions from school as insight into her character.

Others side with Rachel, saying her parents just want to control her.

But as her parents, they have every right to set the rules at home. That's what good parents should do. And as parents they should also have made sure this case never made it to court.

At the earliest signs of trouble, there are resources - especially family counseling-- that can help heal a dysfunctional family.

The case should be dismissed and Rachel Canning and her parents ought to work it out together, in private.

It may not grab any headlines, but the hard work of parenting doesn't stop when the going gets rough.

That's when parenting really begins.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

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