(MORRISTOWN, NJ)– A New Jersey teen is in court Tuesday, facing off against her parents in a battle over her schooling and living costs.
Rachel Canning, 18, is suing her parents in family court in Morristown, N.J., because she says they refuse to pay for her Catholic high school education and for college in the fall.
She claims that her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, kicked her out of their Lincoln Park house when she turned 18 in October, which they deny. Dad Sean Canning says she left voluntarily because she didn’t want to follow their house rules concerning curfew and chores.
“Private school, new car, college education; that all comes with living under our roof,” he told ABC News station WABC-TV.
Rachel Canning, an honor student and athlete at Morris Catholic High School, filed the lawsuit days ago and is asking a judge to declare her dependent on her parents for support as a student, according to The Daily Record.
The newspaper said Rachel Canning was asking that her parents settle a $5,306 tuition bill and pay living and transportation costs, as well as “commit” to an existing college fund.
The Daily Record also reported that Rachel Canning had been living with her best friend’s family. John Inglesino, the friend’s father and a lawyer, is reportedly funding Rachel Canning’s lawsuit but is not representing her. Inglesino declined to comment to ABC News.
He has reportedly said he wants her parents to foot the bill for legal fees as well, which now total $13,000.
Sean Canning, a former New Jersey police chief, said the ordeal was tearing his family apart.
“We’d be whole and healed as a family if she were back home,” he said. “And I think she’s being enabled. I think she’s being steered down the wrong area and it’s killing us.”
Rachel Canning has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.
Tuesday’s scheduled court hearing will mark the first time the father and daughter see each other since October 2013.
“I don’t know,” Sean Canning said. “It’s going to be very tough.”
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