18 Year Old Sues Parents for Child Support
By Christina Rentz
Published on October 13, 2005
The day after celebrating her 18th birthday, Maria Guevara moved out of her mother's home into her friend's basement. Maria said she moved because she could no longer abide by her mother's unreasonable rules, which included setting an early curfew and not giving Maria money for trendy clothes. Maria did not go live with her dad because she says he physically abused her when she was younger. Maria's father denies this claim.
Shortly after moving out, Maria filed a lawsuit in Nassau Family Court. Maria is suing her parents for child support, claiming her parents have a responsibility to pay for her living expenses and tuition while she attends college. However, Maria's parents say they should not have to support a daughter who refuses to obey their rules.
In New York, young people between 18 and 21 years of age are placed into a unique category. They are old enough to live outside their parents' home but still young enough to be financially supported by their parents.
Maria is not the first 18 year old to sue her parents for child support. One such case involved an 18 year old girl whose parents were trying to force her to have an abortion. The judge ordered the parents to pay child support because their request was deemed unreasonable. However, legal experts say the parents' rules must be extreme for the child's case to be successful.
Maria's case against her mother was dropped four months after the lawsuit was filed because Maria's mother does not work and, therefore, does not have the ability to pay child support.
Maria's lawsuit against her father is still pending.