Episode 35

Teens Suing Parents for Support: Is It Right?

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When I was growing up, my parents owned the air I breathed in their home. As long as I lived under their roof, I followed their rules. I didn't always like them and sometimes I rebelled, but I never left home and expected them to continue to pay for my upkeep. Some parents are more likable than others but unless there is real abuse in the home, the child doesn't have a choice as to where and when they receive parental support. In the news recently, a rebellious teenager left home and then sued her parents for financial support. What do you think about her actions? Do parents have the responsibility to support their errant children in a lifestyle they've become accustomed to? I'd love to hear your thoughts.      

Your stories

  1. Parental support

    by Rachel
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  1. Parental support

    by Rachel In today's society, it can be a tough call to make. Times have changed so much from when I was a child. I was raised by my grandmother who was a tough lady. She gave me everything I needed as she worked 3 jobs to raise me all alone. She moved from NY to CA with nothing but the clothes we had on and started a life for me. As a teenager, I'm positive I was difficult, but in no way would I ever attempt to take on my Grandmother in a challenge if I chose to move out. Although we had our disagreements, I was raised to be respectful at all times and I learned as I grew older by watching her sacrifices for me, that being grateful and humble was greater than being stingy, disrespectful, and ungrateful. Many of todays parents are too liberal with their kids and that is why this issue exists. Teens feel they have too many rights and they've lost perspective of what is important. These kids learn from us. We need to remember to "be" the example, not just try to impose it.
  2. Children Suing Parents for Support

    by Karen I'm 70 years old, never married and have no children, but I've seen how morals and thinking have changed in today's youith. The biggest mistake that has taken place over these years is telling kids they have rights before the age of 18. After they have reached the "age of accountability", those wishing to bleed mommy and daddy for financial support should be sent to a "reality camp" to be taught what a responsible adult takes on when reaching for independance. To be independent means having the ability to feed, clothe, and shelter oneself. If that can't be done, then get a job!!!! Parents should not be responsible for providing a college education for their children. They are responsible for K-12, but not college. The kids can WORK for an education if they want it bad enough and they will appreciate it more if they've earned it alone. Suing parents for support is ludicrous.
  3. Outrageous!

    by Jean I agree with you Judy. I can't believe a child that was raised all their life by their parent/parents would even think of suing their parent when they leave home. Maybe the parent should counter-sue for all the expenses incurred while raising the child. That would be a rude awakening!
  4. When I was a teen...

    by Diane I babysat from the age of 12 until I was 16. At 16 I got a job at a hospital in the kitchen and was paid a whopping $0.75 an hour, and I thought I was rich. My parents did not give me money, in fact, I had to pay room and board to live there. I had to follow their rules no matter how old I was to live in their house. And this girl thinks her parents owe her!! What a joke. I was never without work, there was always a job somewhere. I am 64 this year and I am on disability, due to smoking, my regrets, but you know what, I am going out job hunting next week. Yes, I am going to get a part-time job. My husband works two jobs, and we still need money. I love working. These kids today have it too easy, and I can't believe how much more they want. A parent was crying because her child was killed in a car wreck, and I said, you killed him, you gave him a car, a cell phone and money, which bought booze and drugs. I know that was mean, but that is what we are doing to our kids today. Sad, but true.
  5. Teens Suing Their Parents

    by Cecilia It's outrageous! Teens have the privilege to live with their parents, however they have to follow the rules. Unfortunately, parents sometimes just don't go to the trouble to set rules. When they choose to leave, they are on their own. It's completely their own choice to move out, so they should do what grownups do who live on their own and support themselves.
  6. Completely wrong!

    by Natalie I'm from Australia and I'm only 19 years of age, currently enrolled in University (College), even though I'm classified as an 'adult' I still listen and am controlled by my parents just as much as a 13 year old may be, however I do understand that if I was living at home and had any financial hardship I would be able to ask my parents for help, in which I'm sure if the time does come they would help me to the best of their abilities. However coming from the aspect of the teenager, I wouldn't want to embarrass myself stating that I am trying to prove independence although I cannot show it without means of the help from my parents.. My opinion from a teenagers pour of view, stay at home, a lot better cooking I'm sure!
  7. Teens suing their parents

    by Julie Hello Judge Judy, I am shocked the judge in question ruled in favor of the child. No, I do not feel parents should be forced to support their child once they leave home. My daughter left our home a few days before her 18 th birthday. She simply couldn't tolerate the rules in our home. Since she has been out on her own she is learning how challenging it is to afford necessities, especially prior to being ready to do so, which she was not. She gave up a potential scholarship in music and is now working full time with overtime to make ends meet. We have had to help her buy food at times and helped her understand budgeting, but any money for car repairs she has to give back to us in payments. I believe children today have an attitude of intitle net and this is why we are seeing children taking their parents to court.
  8. Independence!

    by Sharon When I lived in my parents' home, I not only followed rules, had chores(that means you're part of the household and you give back). When I wanted to set my own rules and be independent I moved out. Independence comes at a price, you get to support yourself, but then you can set your own rules. This is growing up a step many today fail to make because parents aren't willing to let them stand on their own two feet. It's different as a parent if you occasionally want to supplement the little extras for them, but if you want to be out you need to be self supportive. I did!
  9. World gone mad

    by sue Children wanting support when they leave home??? Crazy..help them yes, but if you want to venture on your own, better get a job to support yourself. A Cosby show episode portrayed it beautifully.
  10. Support thy self

    by Florence If a child feels they don't want to follow the rules then they are free to leave. I had a sign in my kitchen when my children were growing up the read "Now that you are a teenager and if you think you know everything, feel free to pack your bags and leave." None of them left, they stayed till they got married and paid rent when they started to work and were living at home (we put that money aside and gave it to them when they married). To many people forget they are the PARENT not the FRIEND of their child.
  11. Children leaving home and suing parents.

    by Stephanie I agree with you! If the parents are providing emotionally and physically, then the children should not be allowed to sue. What has happened to our children? It amazes me sometimes their hatred and disrespect for the people who brought them into this world. I also think good parents thank you for doing the right thing! Love, discipline, and helping you get to graduation.
  12. Teens Suing Parents for Support, Is It Right?

    by J.M.F. I do not have a story, just an opinion. If a child makes the decision, for whatever the reason, to live outside the home, they do not have 'the right' to sue their parents for 'anything'! It is appalling that these teens feel they have such a right. What they have is a responsibility to themselves. Such responsibility includes supporting themselves, 'for everything'. I'd like to ask a teen who is either suing or contemplating suing their parents, how they would feel/react if the situation were reversed. It would be most interesting to know their response! I would venture to say, their response would be 'no way'!
  13. No brainer

    by Stacia Thank the stars I never had children so I can only guess how I would react. I am very close to your age, Judge Judy, and this is a no brainer. If you are of age and do not like it in my home - MOVE - as you always say to your complaintants. You will not like my next statement for sure, but lawyers are the main reason for all this discourse. We hear everywhere now - if you don't like something - SUE. Give a podium to an idiot and this is the result. Cry abuse and get money for it - it is a world I absolutely do not recognize and thank the stars everyday I do not have to deal with it; just be entertained watching the Judge Judy show.
  14. Pity the Baby Boomer Parents

    by LMaurer We have so many helicopter parents "hovering" over their children that I know some parents are more than willing to take on their kids financial hardships. I disagree 100%. These hardships are what teach the child to earn the title of respected adult! It prepares them for the continued disappointment/stress of being an adult. It's a shame that our youth don't realize that having rules & being cared for are probably the easiest years of their lives! No one said becoming an independent adult would be easy or fun. This country has gotten away from raising children so that the ultimate goal IS creating an independent adult. Who will care for us (40-60 yr olds) when we need assistance in our elderly years? No one--they wont know how! Young adults are so busy taking from their parents for trips, plastic surgery, date nites, big homes--help with this & help with that. Including daycare of all the grandchildren. The baby boomers just don't get a break and enjoy life. Shame on us!
  15. Child suing parents are wrong unless.....

    by Arthur Hi Judge, I am strongly disagree when teens are suing parents for their own advantage and to please what he/she wishes. Parents have been working all their life to support their children from when they were born. However, each set of parents are different from each other. There are parents who are responsible and not responsible. When a teen suing non-responsible parents for school fees, educations, medical, shelter and food, I think those teens have a right to get what they need before they turn 18 years where they be able to support themselves after the age of 18. On the other hand, teens these days have a great peer pressure that haunts them from social medias and televisions (e.g lifestyles). When they (teens) are suing for a better lifestyle from their parents, I totally disagree. Its not their right to sue parents to get a better lifestyle or financial.
  16. The Never Ending Mission of Parents

    by Margaret It is my belief that children did not ask to be brought in the world, therefore parents should have a game plan for them at all times. Most parents expect their children to behave appropriately at all times. The truth of the matter is there are going to be disagreements and battles of wills. A majority of parents prefer to take the my way or the highway approach with their children, constantly reminding them it is their household. However, with this kind of attitude nothing gets solved, it only makes the child or children more rebellious. It is the parents' mission in life to make sure they have properly guided and mentored their children in the art of living and being decent citizens. It is their calling in life to see them through until they are at stable times in their lives where they no longer have to rely on them for moral support or finances. If a fruit is forced to ripen before its time, it may mature into a tasteful fruit or it may dry rot and end up being of no value.
  17. Supporting grown kids

    by Sylvia Once I was grown and out of the house, it would never have occurred to me that my mother (a single parent) owed me anything else. In the early years she would occasionally give me a few dollars or a gift of something I needed, such as an iron, but the thought of suing her for more would never have entered my mind. She was my mother! She had already sacrificed over and over for me. Now the same goes for my children who are well out of the house. I have helped them financially once in a while when they needed it but I can't imagine them suing me. I don't understand what is wrong with people who sue family members for any reason. They are family, part of one another.
  18. Out on Their Own

    by Suzy When I graduated high school at 17, my mother took me to the doctor and the dentist for checkups. After I got a clean bill of health, she said "You're on your own now!" I was expected to find a job and start paying board until I moved out and could support myself. Did it kill me? No. Did I like it? No. But years later, after an abusive marriage and all sorts of ups and downs in my life, my mother said to me one day "You're the strongest person I've ever known!" You could've handed me a million dollars and it wouldn't have meant as much!!! Kids today expect to be handed everything. What happened to working for it? If they want their freedom so much, then let them experience the hard work that life is really all about. They can earn what they want, and have the satisfaction of knowing it was through their own efforts. BRATS!!!!
  19. Should children sue for support

    by Sharon Absolutely not. If a child does not want to follow the rules of the parents and they want to move out then let them move out and try to find a way to support themselves. When they find out that they can't, they're going to come crawling back to their parents to live under their roof for free. I don't care if you were a child or a visitor or another family member needing to move in for a little while to help them get on their feet, it's my house...my rules. I grew up with very lenient parents. They would have taken anybody in. My parents didn't set a whole lot of rules the rules. We did have work to help with cleaning and maintaining the house doing your homework cleaning your room nothing harsh. I know there are stricter parents and some parents who are morons but in their house...their rules! You don't like it, get out and try to find your own way to support yourself. Now if these are abusive parents then the the parents should pay child services to take care of them. A child isn't mature till 30+
  20. Should Kids Be Able to Sue Their Parents

    by Margaret As a psych nurse with over 20 years of experience, I frequently counsel adolescents who cite their parents as the villains in their life - holding them back from having fun, trying to "control their lives" by having rules and regulations, and, in other words, being good parents. I tell them that, unless their parents are frankly abusive, they have it much better than many of their peers who live on the street. I direct them to check out local homeless shelters, walk by plasma donation centers, go to parks where homeless congregate (use drugs) and then look at their lives realistically. If, after seeing the real world, they feel that being on their own is best, I tell them to prepare to do it on their own. I then tell them to "fake it until they make it" until they reach 18. I tell them to follow the rules, go to school, and be grateful for what their parents provide. At 18, they will be "free" to eke out a living supporting themselves - while remembering that karma is a bitch :}
  21. Think Long and Hard my child...

    by Linda I worked and raised two girls without a great deal of financial support from my former husband. I popped them on their butts, grounded them, made them get a job when they were 16 years old, and compelled them to participate in the care and keeping of our home. Believe it or not, they still love me and have pretty much the same rules in their lives. I suspect this young lady who has filed suit against her parents had a little too much lap of luxury and has been bred to feel entitled and lacked any respect for those who provided it. When a parent sues a child or the reverse, nothing their lives will ever be the same...there will always be guilt and hurt...and it won't go away. Think long and hard before you go down this avenue...it's a one avenue you'll live with forever.
  22. Teens suing parents...

    by Fran I was a single mother of 3 boys. I was extremely strict on them. In my opinion, an adult's responsibility to the under aged of the world is to teach them on each level what is expected of them when they become adults. It is the parent's responsibility to teach the children discipline, self-control, and responsibility. With that being said, I have witnessed parents lying down on their jobs. It is as if they are roommates and friends to their children, not parents. They aren't teaching them anything. This is why we can't go shopping or to a restaurant without witnessing more than one child (different ages) pitching a temper tantrum and behaving badly. My sons knew from a very young age I had expectations of them. I think if this question were posed to kids today, the answers would be astonishing. So with all of that being said, NO! in no way shape or form should a teen sue a parent for support after they are suppose to be "adults". To me, that is simply an OXYMORON!
  23. Get a J. O. B!!!!!

    by Sheila I started working at the age of 13 so that I could buy some things my parents couldn't afford. When I graduated from high school, I got a job before enrolling in college and paid my parents rent.....the grand sum of $5.00! I belong to your generation, Judge Judy.........you work for what you want, but today's generation has a sense of entitlement for the most part and I blame the parents for not teaching their children the value of work early on to achieve what you want.
  24. Teen Suing Parents for Support

    by Phyllis I think this is outrageous. Once you leave the house bye bye. I feel that you shouldn't support them unless they're in college trying to do something for themselves. My parents would have knocked some of my teeth OUT for even thinking about suing them.
  25. Tough Love to Teen Wasting Resources!

    by Genevieve We have always told our son, "As long as you live in our house, you will abide by our rules, regardless how old you are." Well, our teenage son went through a time when he felt he could be wasteful with different things because after all, he wssn't paying for them we were. This was especially true with taking very long showers. He would have the water running for over 45 minutes each time he took a shower. Our water bill almost doubled. After numerous corrections and being told that this was a waste of water and money, we told him if it happened again, he would pay the next month's water bill. Well, sure enough he didn't listen. The following month, when the water bill which was more than double what it usually is came in, he had to pay it out of the allowance he had been saving for a camping trip. He was not a "happy camper," but, he now limits his shower time to 15 minutes.
  26. Teen Suing Parents

    by Granny D In one word, the answer is NO! The Judge in this case made the right decision. If you want the luxuries, you pay for them, NOT your parents. Two choices: Live under your parents roof and follow their rules, or you pay for your own luxuries including COLLEGE.
  27. Just look at people...

    by Nikie The people I know who are the most successful, the hardest working, and the most independent are people whose parents gave them consequences, who asked them to earn their luxuries, who had boundary lines that were never to be crossed. And who also loved them fiercely and with great joy. The people I know who are always victims, who always have bad luck, who struggle with bills and jobs and family, are people who were taught to believe as children that they would get whatever they wished just by smiling pretty, or whining loudly. Their bad behavior was always forgiven without consequence. They face the real world stunned and inept or selfish and grasping, believing that someone should show them the way or give it to them based solely on their existence. I read that the court awarded the girl partial year tuition from her parents. It was very disappointing to find that now we can be court-mandated to show our children they are owed a certain lifestyle by their parents
  28. Mailbox

    by Candace My father used to say that "as long as my name is on the mailbox, you will follow my rules" ... I am pleased to share that he is 90 years old and in good health and his words are now being used by his 40 year old grandson. I think it is very difficult for today's children to understand that back then your parents were your parents, they were not you BFF (best friend forever). It wasn't easy but it did work. I am a child of the 60's where I did indeed try to be my children's best friend - looking back on it, I am so very lucky that I had a very strong husband who helped to keep our family on track. I do not believe that it was right for this child to sue her parents' - I think it is even more disturbing that there was an attorney willing to help and a court prepared to hear the case. Shameful!
  29. It's all about entitlements

    by Michelle This issue, suing one's parents, is just another example that demonstrates how people (adults and teenagers) believe they are "entitled" to something. We see this day in and day out...the courts are flooded with people wanting to be compensated for some ridiculous offense...typically egregious in their minds but petty in the minds of rational thinking people. The same is true for teenagers if they have been raised to think they are "entitled" to compensation for errors, accidents, and in general life's day to day ups and downs. If something happens that displeases them, they expect compensation. It's the way their parents function. This behavior drifts down into the rearing of children...and when kids see their parents trying to assign blame for everything that goes wrong..well, they naturally want to do the same...Raise your child to accept responsibility for their mistakes and life's daily injustices..and they will grow into responsible adults
  30. Parents strict but loving

    by Kristen What my parents said was law. It was not difficult to know where the "line" was and I watch out if you crossed it. If I did the punishment was taking away a privilege or when I was little no T. V. I may have protested but my parents never waivered and they stuck to the punishment. Perhaps this girl's parents spoiled her too much. I can only guess she was never disciplined. If she was the girl whined and complained and the parents gave in. The key here is parents need to stick to the punishment and your kids will respect you more later in life. I want to also note I was never hit. I just got the "look" from either my Mom or stepfather and that was scary enough.
  31. Teens suing parents.

    by Diane A law suit like this should never be in court. The job of a parent is to prepare our kids to enter the outside world. We had rules to guide them, if they broke those rules they paid the consequences, just like the real world. We cosigned on a car for our daughter, she had a job to make the payments. She didn't want to work anymore and we had to repossess her car and sold it just like a bank would have done in real life. We have 4 responsible adults now who don't expect handouts. We enjoy you show. Diane
  32. Yes and No on Suing Parents

    by Iris My dad made good money but he was a serious compulsive gambler. 70 years ago I thought he should have been compelled to contribute to the higher education of his children and I still do. Ordinarily I would not sanction suing parents but in the case of such a destructive obsession, where the children were more than deserving, I think the Law could do more to help children in need.

    by Ella I will believe we mimic our parents. What a beautiful thing to feel all through the day. Our parents are not us and we don't know their past to understand their reasoning. I remember my dad showed me the door because of alcohol, and I straightened up quickly. Would that girl want her children to sue her for financial support? I receive spiritual dividends now that my parents are deceased. When Judge Judy is adjudicating, you can observe how she pulls the truth and certain answers from the litigants, her father was a dentist. Money will never buy love, or life's experiences. Is it nurturing or nature? Instead of enjoying both, the girl is messing with both. Wake up!!!!! by Ella
  34. Suing parents for support

    by Mary I feel it's madness that a child (and only a child's mind would consider this a viable option) can think that this is a reasonable thing to expect. Basically the child is saying "I don't like your rules, expectations and I don't like taking my place in this family" I want all the benefits without any responsibility. It also worries me that a child can expect this from their parents . When they get a job or career, if they can, will they say I don't want to work but you must still pay me! I want a house but I don't want to pay for it. I need a holiday so if my parents won't pay the state must! Where does this end? This lack of accountability and the belief in their own entitlement is terrifying. Where is the love, respect or gratitude for a life lived far better than many children. What on earth is going through these children's minds? Assuming the home is not an abusive one, even then it's shocking. Reminds me of my two year old stamping her feet shouting "I want, I want" sad
  35. Children and parents support

    by Debbie If they don't go by your rules,they can leave home and try to make it on there own, or stay home and be grateful for what they have.They should be happy to have both parents still living. Not everyone has the means to do what they want as far as all the things and money they want.
  36. my mom's house rules

    by rande I grew up in a family of 7 boys. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. We were never hit by mom or dad. Mom had a few simple rules..if you left your toys laying around at day's end, out they went. If we weren't home for dinner, we couldn't eat anything. If we didn't like our brown bag lunch for school, mom would say "fine, make your own from now on" so until I went into the army, I never missed a meal, never lost a toy, never had to make my own school lunch. I was child #4, so I saw that my mom meant business as my older brothers lost toys, went without dinner, and made their own lunches. Mom also found many household chores to keep us from getting into trouble. Sue my mom...are you kidding me?
  37. Support yourself!

    by Steph G I'm a 26 year old grad student, ready to graduate in a month with my family nurse practitioner degree! I've always been frugal so I went to a community college and lived at home. When I exceed my welcome (lack of a better word), I moved in with my grandparents (whom had an extra room). I worked full time while obtaining my undergrad and I paid off every school and car loan I had. I never once expected my parents to pay for my education or anything for that matter. I am truly grateful for all the sacrifices that they have made to give me everything I needed growing up. When I see people that have their lives handed to them without hard work and discipline, I see failure. I see them as entitled "brats" and it doesn't matter how old or young they are. There's such a sense of accomplishment being able to work hard and see your own sacrifices pay off. I hope when I have children I am able to instill this appreciation into them!
  38. Entitlement

    by Rex I never felt entitled when I grew up. Looking into the past after my teen years, I began to recognize the sacrifices my parents made for me. My dad driving off to work, everyday, leaving at 6:30 am. My poor mom, putting up with the behavior of 6 boys, 3 at a time. (We grew up in sets of 3) The older I got the more I see that my parents didn't owe me a thing. I have always had a roof over my head and food on our table. If I had wanted, I could have always had a room to move back into at my parent's house. I believe that if you "choose" to live under your parent's roof, you have to follow the rules of their house. If you don't want to follow their rules, as Judge Judy would say...MOVE! If you choose to move, you are also choosing to support yourself. If you can't support yourself, stay at home and follow the rules. Having the children tell the parents how it is going to be is the same as the tail wagging the dog!! Love your show Judge Judy
  39. Teens suing Parents......

    by Nancy If you leave home, and your are over 18 then you get up off the couch, and get a job. I don't have to do a thing for you. You want to stay home, and want to obey my rules, then I will do what I can to help, and support you. Leave and you are on your own!
  40. You Came Into This World Naked

    by Kathie Once when my daughter decided that she didn't like my rules, that she was old enough to do what she wanted, when she wanted, I had had enough. I had told my daughter that she was not to have phone calls or be out and about after 10:00 p.m. during the week. I have a hard time sleeping and once I get to sleep and get woken up I cannot go back to sleep, and I just could not have it during my work week. She told me that I could unplug my phone. I'm sure you could see the steam coming out of my ears. One night, I heard the front door close and hear the loud muffler of a truck. My daughter is pulling away with her boyfriend. When she got home she was locked out and there was a note on the door for her to be ready to find her own place where she didn't have rules. She spent the night in her car in the driveway. The next morning when she started to pack I said, "you came into this world naked, so you can go out naked!" But I was nice enough to let her take the clothes she was wearing.
  41. Ex- Spouses Can Sue for Suppport, Why Not Children

    by Hazen The concept of "family breakdown" is applied to situations where spouses or the equivalent can no longer live within the family as they originally expected. The family court then intervenes to ensure an orderly succession for the benefit of all parties. The succession often includes a transition period of 3-5 years where spousal support is required. The same concept of "family breakdown" should equally apply when a financially dependent teen, enrolled full time in school can no longer live within the family as the parents originally intended. The family court should provide for orderly succession including a period of 3-5 years so that the youth can complete education and enter the work force.

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