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Daughter sues for child support

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by cbbr, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Story here.

    The day after Maria Guevara turned 18, she packed her bags and moved out of her mother's Floral Park home.

    She had a strained relationship with her father, who she said physically abused her when she was younger -- a charge he denies -- and she said her mother was too strict, setting an early curfew and denying her money for restaurants and fashionable clothes.

    But after she moved into a friend's basement in Bellerose Terrace in March, Guevara did something her mother didn't see coming: She sued her parents for child support in Nassau Family Court.

    "I didn't get along with my mother, so I decided to move out and get my own place," said Guevara. "I love my mom, but I wasn't feeling right living there."

    Between the ages of 18 and 21, young people fall into a special category in New York state: They're old enough to move out of their parents' house, but young enough to be supported by them in most cases, legal experts said.

    Maria says that's only fair. She wants to go to college and is not yet in a position to support herself. But in interviews and court documents, her divorced parents said they should not have to pay the bills for a daughter who will not live by their rules.

    "It's ironic for a person to act like an adult, live like an adult and yet not want to have the responsibilities of an adult," said Sean Sabeti of Jericho, the attorney who represents Maria's mother, Gina Ubillus of Floral Park. "Imagine how many other 18-year-olds are going to say, 'Wait. I can move out and still get child support.'"

    Maria's case against her father, Marcos Guevara of Astoria, is pending before Support Magistrate Penelope Beck Kahn. Maria's case against her mother was dismissed last month, four months after it was filed. Sabeti said he had asked for the dismissal on the grounds that Ubillus, who does not work, was not in a position to support Maria, while Maria was.

    Maria retains the right to resubmit the petition.

    Maria's lawyer, Jeffrey Trimarchi of Manhattan, declined to comment. Her father's lawyer, Joseph Kasper of Queens, did not return calls seeking comment.

    A number of cases similar to Maria's have been filed in New York over the years, some decided in favor of the child, others for the parents, experts said.

    Lewis Silverman, director of the Family Law Clinic at Touro Law Center in Huntington, said he could not remember a case where parents whose rules were considered reasonable were made to pay child support. In one case, parents who were trying to make their pregnant daughter have an abortion had to pay child support because that was deemed unreasonable, Silverman said.

    The strength of a child's arguments depends on the reasons they aren't able to get along with their parents and their ability to live independently, among other things, legal experts said. Eighteen-year-olds who marry, join the military or work full-time are generally not awarded child support, Silverman said.

    But Maria, who just started her first year at Nassau Community College, argues that her parents should pay for school. She works part-time as a teacher's aide at the John Lewis Childs School in Floral Park, but three hours a day at $12 an hour doesn't pay for her living expenses and tuition, she said.

    "I'm 18, but I still need support," she said. "I'm going to college. I don't have time to be working full-time. It's hard for me."

    A judge will also look at the reasons for a rift between a child and parent, said Barbara Kopman of Hicksville, an attorney specializing in family law.

    Maria said she left her father's house at about 13 because he physically abused her, a charge he denied in court documents. She said her mother gave her food and clothing but made her come home by 6 or 7 every night and pay for all nonessentials such as restaurant meals and extra clothing.

    Gina Ubillus, who is still caring for Maria's younger brother, 16, is hurt by the notion that she wasn't a good mother.

    "I feel betrayed. I did all I could for her and my son," she said. "It's so unfair. Just because she wants her freedom, she's abusing the system."
     
  2. ak bandit

    ak bandit 1/2 ton status

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    Frickin kids these days...Makes me sick. And a judicial system that supports them is even worse :mad:
     
  3. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    That's pretty messed up... But it's what the public standards teach. "You deserve" is hammered into everyone's heads, not "Earn it". It's almost not surprising to see this... Then again, it doesn't sound like she's had the most stable of upbringing's, either...
     
  4. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    It sounds like she has a mexican dad who is unemployed but her mother has a job. She's pissing and moaning about not getting spending money as a kid...wtf? The whole idea of this law pisses me off. If you are a kid and want your parents money you play by their rules. Goddam yankees :screwy: :haha:
     

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