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New Jersey court dismisses order requiring divorced parents to pay for their emancipated daughter’s college tuition

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New Jersey appeals court tosses order requiring parents to pay for daughter’s tuition
Michael Ricci and Maura McGarvey appeared in a New Jersey court set aside a judge’s order that the divorced couple pay $16,000 for their daughter’s college tuition
21-year-old Caitlyn Ricci, as a teenager, won her emancipation battle against her  parents
caitlyn-ricci2After winning her battle for emancipation Caitlyn Ricci had the courts rule her parents pay her expenses. 21-year-old Ricci wanted her divorced parents to pay her $16,000 out-of-state tuition costs.
After winning her battle for emancipation 4 years ago Caitlyn Ricci had the courts rule that her parents pay her expenses including cost of in-state, college tuition. Now 21 and opting to head out of state to Temple University College, she dragged her parents to court and  successfully argued that her divorced parents ought to pay $16,000 annually, more than half of her enhanced college tuition.
That years-long court battle swung away from the college student, this week when the New Jersey appeals court held that Michael Ricci and Maura Garvey were not responsible for the college expenses of their  estranged daughter.
The court ruled the New Jersey former couple  are not legally required to pay for their daughter’s education. Saturday Michael Ricci and ex-wife Maura Garvey won their appeal and the order from the lower court was set aside by the the appeals court.
As the an appeals court on Friday tossed out the judge’s order, freeing them from footing the hefty bill.
The three-judge panel ordered a new hearing on the demand by Caitlyn Ricci for the payment by her parents.
.“A parent cannot be viewed as a wallet and deprived of involvement of college decision making process,” according to the ruling cited by NJ.com.
By it’s ruling the appellate court referred the case back to a lower court, but encouraged the family to avoid the stress of continuing litigation.

maura-mcgarvey-left-and-michael-ricci3Maura McGarvey and Michael Ricci [photo] in court this week challanging a judge’s order that they pay $16,000 towards their daughter’s out of state college tuition

The family’s legal battle kicked off when her parents obtained a March 2013 consent order emancipating Caitlyn — the Temple student had already left her mother’s home two years prior to live with her paternal grandparents.
A judge in 2013 allowed Ricci to challenge the order and required her parents to pay tuition of less than $2,000 while she attended Gloucester County College. After she transferred to Temple in 2014, a judge ordered her parents to cover the higher costs of the Philadelphia university.

maura-mcgarvey-left-and-michael-ricci4The appeals court ruled the parents should not be legally obligated to pay their daughter’s tuition, if they had no part of the decision making process affecting her life

Caitlyn Ricci reportedly, was able to win the case based off a 1982 ruling that states divorced parents are legally obligated to pay for their child’s tuition.
Ricci’s mother, Maura McGarvey, told the court they as parents felt it was wrong to bear all the responsibilty with no corresponding rights. She explained that her daughter left after refusing to do chores and follow a curfew, which they enacted to curb her repeatedly getting into trouble for underage drinking. She and her ex-husband contended that being forced to pay the $16,000 annual tuition was unconstitutional, the judges agreed.
The decision noted Caitlyn “demonstrated her desire to be independent of parental control, which obviated any obligation for support,” the Post reported.
After the verdict, Maura McGarvey’s attorney said Ricci and her parents have reconciled in the wake of their legal battle.
“Our main goal is reconciliation for the family unit, and that’s what happened here,” attorney Kelli Martone said. “It appears her relationship with her parents is incredibly improved.”

 

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