(NEW YORK) — The bitter legal battle over financial support between a New Jersey couple and their formerly estranged 18-year-old daughter is finally over after the teen decided on Tuesday to drop the lawsuit against her parents.
Last week, Rachel Canning moved back into her family home after living at a friend’s house for more than four months. However, there was no word at the time whether she was dropping the suit against Sean and Elizabeth Canning to cover her schooling and living costs.
Now, that last sign of friction that had torn the Lincoln Park family apart has been eliminated.
According to the Newark Star Ledger, Family Division Judge Peter Bogaard ruled Tuesday that he “found that (Rachel’s) decision to dismiss the litigation was a knowing and voluntary decision,” and he ordered the case dismissed.
Meanwhile, Snyder & Sarno of Roseland, the law firm representing Sean and Elizabeth Canning, issued a statement saying the parents “are happy to be reunited and thankful that their daughter is back home.”
When news of the lawsuit came to light earlier in March, Judge Bogaard ruled that Rachel Canning’s parents did not have to pay her high school tuition but had held off on a ruling on her demand for college tuition. It’s now a moot point with the dismissal of the suit.
The teen sued her parents to cover her schooling and living costs since she left their home last October two days before turning 18. At the time, Rachel Canning alleged she was booted out while her folks claimed she left on her own volition after refusing to abide by their rules.
There were reports that her parents did not like the teen’s boyfriend, which may have fueled tensions in the family.
Rachel Canning was living at a friend’s home since October and her legal fees, which totaled more than $13,000, were funded by the friend’s father, an attorney, who was not involved in the court case.
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Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Boris Sanchez, Ralph Ellis, Joe Sutton and Azadeh Ansari, CNN
Steve Visser, CNN
Megan McNulty, Deseret News