The parents of a 21-year-old New Jersey woman have been ordered to pay $16,000 a year in college fees for her, even though they haven’t had a relationship with her in two years.
But don’t expect them to pay up anytime soon.
“They can hold me in contempt of court. They can do whatever they want. I’m not going to pay,” Caitlyn Ricci’s father, Michael Ricci, tells WPVI-TV. “I’m not going to give them any money until my daughter has a relationship with me and we start to heal our family.”
The standoff – which recalls a similar New Jersey case earlier this year, in which 18-year-old Rachel Canning sued her parents – came to a head in November, when a judge ruled for Caitlyn and told her parents to help fund her out-of-state tuition at Temple University.
The family was back in court this week, with Caitlyn filing a motion to hold her parents in contempt of court after refusing to pay.
“It is nice to see that she is alive and doing well, but it is hurtful because she wouldn’t look at us,” Caitlyn’s mother, Maura McGarvey, says. “When I got emotional in the courtroom and when Michael got emotional in the courtoom, she doesn’t have any emotion.”
Caitlyn has been estranged from her divorced parents for almost two years. They claim she moved out voluntarily after they clashed when she refused to follow the rules. Caitlyn has been living with her grandmother, who funded the lawsuit.
“A lot of people call her a spoiled brat because she wants her parents to pay 100 percent of her college. And in fact, she is not asking for that, never has been,” Caitlyn’s attorney said.