CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey man says he and his ex-wife are working to repair their relationship with their 23-year-old daughter after a state appeals court ruled the parents cannot be forced to pay her college tuition.
Michael Ricci told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the divorced couple and their daughter, Caitlyn Ricci, had agreed to drop the case.
“It’s going to take some time to heal,” Ricci, 46, of Haddon Heights, said. “… But nothing can break the bond between parents and their kids, so we’ll get through it. We’ll move on, and we’ll be a happy family again.”
Caitlyn Ricci had argued that her parents should pay portions of the costs she incurred while attending the former Gloucester County College in New Jersey and later Temple University in Philadelphia, where she enrolled without her parents’ blessings.
Two lower court judges ordered her parents to pay some costs, but the appeals court rejected those rulings last week, finding that “support is due only to a child who is not emancipated.”
Caitlyn Ricci didn’t return a call seeking comment.
The court fight began after the parents obtained a March 2013 consent order emancipating their then-21-year-old daughter. State law mandates that parents can only be ordered to contribute to the college costs of children who are not emancipated.
The appellate court Friday encouraged Caitlyn Ricci and her parents to settle the issue outside of litigation.
Michael Ricci said his daughter is paying back a loan for her Temple education. He said she is taking classes at Rowan University in New Jersey.