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The Trials & Tribulations of Teenager & Parent Disputes

The Metro yesterday featured a US case in which a 19 year old is suing her parents for monthly maintenance and payment of private school fees after leaving home.

The background to the case is that the teenager, described as "spoilt" in Court moved out in a backlash against chores and curfews but cannot fund an independent lifestyle and education, which is why she is asking the Court to make her parents pay.

Her claims were dismissed at an initial hearing, amid fears expressed by the Judge of opening the floodgates to a barrage of unhappy tweens and teens trying to demand luxuries their parents have refused them. The case has however continued to a further hearing next month.

In England a child can apply for financial assistance from one or both parents under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 in certain circumstances. This can include maintenance payments and funding for education. There can however be complex timing issues if maintenance orders are already in place under a financial remedy (ancillary relief) order after a parents' divorce. Such claims can be quite difficult technically and the costs of running a claim must always be measured against the amount of any likely final award. In certain cases they can however be very useful in obtaining much-needed financial support in circumstances where normal child support does not apply or is insufficient for education and training.

Cara Nuttall is a Family & Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon offer both fixed fees and flexible pricing for family and children law services. For a free initial consultation call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.


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