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(NEW YORK) — A New Jersey woman has successfully sued her estranged parents to pay for her college tuition.

A judge in Camden County, New Jersey, ruled that Caitlyn Ricci’s biological parents will have to cough up $16,000 each year so that Ricci, 21, can continue classes across the Delaware River at Temple University in Pennsylvania, ABC News station WPVI in Philadelphia reported.

The parents’ attorney is appealing the judge’s decision, her mother, Maura McGarvey, told ABC News. She said she’s shocked her own daughter would sue her.

“Of course, it’s not anything you ever imagine,” she said between tears. “I feel like I tried very hard to raise my child right.”

McGarvey said she learned Ricci was suing her and her ex-husband when the court papers arrived on the Friday before Mother’s Day 2013.

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The parents had already filed a motion to emancipate their daughter.

Ricci’s parents’ marriage only lasted two-and-a-half years. Ricci lived with her mother but also saw her father, the couple said.

“She comes from two loving families and she was given what she wanted when she was growing up,” her father, Michael Ricci, told WPVI.

McGarvey described her daughter as a rebellious teenager who left home and moved in with her grandparents last February because she didn’t want to follow her mother’s rules, putting stress on the family’s relationship. She said the only time she has seen her daughter since she started at Temple University was in a courtroom.

“She packed her stuff and moved in with my ex-in-laws,” McGarvey said.

Caitlyn Ricci’s attorney, Andrew Rochester, told ABC News she was unavailable for comment. He told WPVI her parents were to blame for the separation.

“Caitlyn did not voluntarily leave the home. She was thrown out by her mother,” Rochester told WPVI.

“Caitlyn really is a good girl. She is the nicest, sweetest girl,” he added. “All she wants is to go to college.”

A judge said divorced parents may be required to contribute to their children’s education, according to WPVI.

Ricci’s grandparents are paying her legal fees, according to WPVI.

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