High school senior Rachel Canning, 18, appears in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, N.J., Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
Bob Karp—AP
By Sam Frizell
March 5, 2014

A judge has rejected the first round of a New Jersey 18-year-old’s lawsuit against her parents whom she says abandoned her and refused to pay her school costs, a decision that could set an important precedent for a family’s obligation to support an of-age child who has left home.

The family court judge rejected Rachel Canning’s request for $600 a month in support as well as tuition fees paid for her private schooling, Reuters reports, after Canning claimed her parents kicked her out of her house in November 2013. Canning, 18, wants her parents to pay for her college and high school tuition, and living expenses.

Her parents say Canning left home voluntarily, and had severe behavioral problems.

The case could set legal parameters on whether New Jersey parents are required to pay for their children’s college education and offer other support after their child has left home, say family law experts.

Another hearing date is set for next month.

[Reuters]

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