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Author Topic: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18  (Read 2500 times)

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Offline HDWalker

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2014, 04:48:59 PM »
Sometimes that means going without food for a day or two. Sometimes that means the rent is late by a week. But it is what it is. Why? Because it's my responsibility. They're my issues. Not my parent's.

I agree and disagree. First of all I understand your responsibility and all that but as a parent I feel it's my duty to provide my children with the bare minimums at least. If rent is part of that, is up for debate but food is a bare minimum and if you were my kid, I'd give you at least money to buy food for yourself.


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Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2014, 05:11:57 PM »
I agree and disagree. First of all I understand your responsibility and all that but as a parent I feel it's my duty to provide my children with the bare minimums at least. If rent is part of that, is up for debate but food is a bare minimum and if you were my kid, I'd give you at least money to buy food for yourself.

I'm sure if I asked my folks, they'd be happy to feed me. I just don't ask, because I don't feel like I'm mooching. My mother has yelled at me before for not eating because I only had enough money to feed myself or my kid but not both of us so naturally he won. *shrug*

Offline HDWalker

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2014, 05:14:35 PM »
I'm sure if I asked my folks, they'd be happy to feed me. I just don't ask, because I don't feel like I'm mooching. My mother has yelled at me before for not eating because I only had enough money to feed myself or my kid but not both of us so naturally he won. *shrug*

Yes but for the same reason you want to feed your kid before yourself, your parents want to feed you before themselves. :) I'm also pretty sure that asking your parents for money so you can buy food wouldn't be considered mooching by them.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2014, 05:22:46 PM »
You know what? When my ex husband kicked me out with nowhere to go, my parents made the choice to let me go into a shelter. I did not understand why at the time and I was severely pissed off at them for it. Here I was, devastated because my husband was cheating, I had lost everything but the clothes on my back and the car (I had to fight just to get the damn car) and my parents were telling me ‘go to the shelter’.

But you know what? It was the best thing they could have done for me. Nothing motivates you to get on your feet better than being at rock bottom. And buddy, I was there. Relying on the handouts and charity of complete strangers till I could get a job and save the money to get out was an excellent push. It taught me what was important, it taught me to stand on my own two feet. It taught me not to take my parents’ help for granted.

I am sorry if this comes out harsh, but I could come up with a million reasons that my parents should support me despite my being an adult and every single one of them can be countered.

Offline HDWalker

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2014, 05:25:45 PM »
It taught me not to take my parents’ help for granted.


I hope my girls will always take exactly that for granted. Whatever happens, I'm their father and I will always be there for them to help them if they need my help.

Offline Tairis

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2014, 07:59:45 PM »
I hope my girls will always take exactly that for granted. Whatever happens, I'm their father and I will always be there for them to help them if they need my help.

And if they go through life always having a safety net, what happens when you die and suddenly that net is gone?

Offline Blythe

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2014, 08:13:26 PM »
A legal obligation to support kids over 18...

Nope. Not a fan of it. I'm going to be honest; I'm against it.

There are services and support for individuals over 18 that have problems supporting themselves--welfare, unemployment benefits, etc. and various types of safety nets are available for individuals over 18 to get necessities. It's up to the individuals who need them to seek them out and apply for those benefits. Parents can't do everything for their children.

Do I think it's great for parents to choose to support their children if their children are over 18? Sure--that's their choice. But it should remain that--a choice.

Where does the line for "support" get drawn, exactly? What counts as "support" and what would count as a "luxury"?

Offline meikle

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2014, 08:18:45 PM »
My point is that coddling kids so they don't have to do poverty-level, minimum-wage jobs is actually hurting them in the long-run.  I used to work 3 minimum wage jobs like this, while taking 2 undergrad courses per term (because that was all I could afford).  It was a real struggle, and I was legitimately concerned about the future, but I made it through, and it taught me a lot of important lessons.

I would rather make our country into one where working 3 jobs to get by is not something that we should of expect people (nor should it be necessary to get situated enough to move on) -- that's a much broader issue than parental support though, and I would agree that just extending parental obligation would be addressing a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself.

Offline ValthazarTopic starter

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Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2014, 10:44:15 PM »
I would rather make our country into one where working 3 jobs to get by is not something that we should of expect people (nor should it be necessary to get situated enough to move on) -- that's a much broader issue than parental support though, and I would agree that just extending parental obligation would be addressing a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself.

Immigrants came to the US with absolutely nothing, and toiled endlessly to give us the opportunities we have today.  They made sacrifices that we can't even imagine today, and you are suggesting that working 3 minimum wage jobs to start off is that bad?

A lot of kids in high school take it for granted that they will get a 40 hour, 45K, full-time job with benefits straight out of college.  No one should take that for granted, and so long as parents serve as a safety net, many young adults will not learn this.

Offline meikle

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2014, 11:02:59 PM »
Immigrants came to the US with absolutely nothing, and toiled endlessly to give us the opportunities we have today.  They made sacrifices that we can't even imagine today, and you are suggesting that working 3 minimum wage jobs to start off is that bad?

Yes?  Just because people who came before us made sacrifices doesn't mean we should repeat their sacrifice if we don't have to.  There is something respectable in doing the difficult thing because it is the only thing to do, because it is the way to make progress; it's a lot less respectable to expect every person to have start from a position of working 60 hours a week in a setting where that simply does not need to happen.

Alternately: We should be making good use of the opportunities those sacrifices gave us instead of nullifying them and expecting each new generation to start over from scratch.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2014, 11:12:14 PM »
Wait, so you are arguing that it is bad for people to learn sacrifice, the value of hard work and learning how to work towards their goals?

I’m sorry but that is just foolish. If everything is handed to someone and they never, ever have to bust their ass to earn what they want then they never learn to appreciate what they have.

An example: Just about every friend of mine in high school had their parents buy them a car when they turned 16. Just about every single one of them ran that car into the ground - wrecked it, dinged it up, treated it like crap. My parents did not buy me one. They flat told me if I wanted a car then I had to get a job, save up my money and buy one. The most they were willing to do is put me on their insurance (though I had to pay them my share each month).

I felt it was unfair. I gripped and grumbled about not having a car. About having to be driven to and from work, picked up from the mall. I bitched and moaned. But let me tell you something - when I did get my first car, I treated that thing like it was a Mercedes. That was MY car. I busted my ass at McDonald’s to get that car.

I learned the value of working towards what I wanted.

The same applies to everything else. If it’s handed to you, you do not value it as much as you would if you worked your ass off for it.

Offline HDWalker

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2014, 02:47:19 AM »
And if they go through life always having a safety net, what happens when you die and suddenly that net is gone?

There is a difference between spoiling your kid and supporting them. I know my girls are responsible and know the value of money. When they call me asking for money cause they can't afford food or can't pay their bills, even though they work hard, I'll give them the money for that. If they call me for a new phone or a car, I'd tell them no.

If they are unemployed without it being their own fault, I'll help them out as much as I can. I don't see that as so much as a safety net, I see it as a lifeline.




Offline meikle

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2014, 01:23:02 PM »
Wait, so you are arguing that it is bad for people to learn sacrifice, the value of hard work and learning how to work towards their goals?
No, that's not what I said, but I guess it is easier to put words in my mouth.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 01:24:55 PM by meikle »

Offline ValthazarTopic starter

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Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2014, 03:17:53 PM »
No, that's not what I said, but I guess it is easier to put words in my mouth.

So what is the ideal solution, in your opinion?  I always thought it was a given that we start out at the bottom, and work our way to the top through hard work.

Offline consortium11

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2014, 03:53:53 PM »
I'm a bit cautious about arguments that seem to fall back on "if you give people a safety net they'll treat it as a hammock and rely on it utterly", which appears to have touched on at times here. Using such logic shouldn't all welfare schemes (both state, private and charitable) be similarly condemned?

That's not to say that I think there should necessarily be a legal requirement for parents to support their offspring once they become adult... such a requirement strikes me as particularly onerous, open to a whole load of issues (what happens if the offspring have children themselves... could we conceivably have a 90 year old parent not only having to support their 72 year old offspring but their 54 year old grandchildren, 36 year old great-grandchildren and 18 year old great-great-grandchildren? And what happens if a parent cannot afford to support a child?) and to perhaps have some adverse consequences that proponents haven't thought about. For if we're arguing that parents should have to support their children even once they become adults on the basis that their parenting didn't prepare the children for the real world and left them deficient in some way, shouldn't there also be restrictions applied to the now-adult in the same way there are for children?

Offline ValthazarTopic starter

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Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2014, 04:20:57 PM »
I'm a bit cautious about arguments that seem to fall back on "if you give people a safety net they'll treat it as a hammock and rely on it utterly", which appears to have touched on at times here. Using such logic shouldn't all welfare schemes (both state, private and charitable) be similarly condemned?

Actually, this is one of the reasons why I said I am rather split on this issue, and it is a complex one.  If a Czech-style system was applied in the US, then this may actually reduce reliance on social welfare programs.  In the past, multi-generational family arrangements were relatively common as a means for social and financial support.

Given that nearly 35% of Americans are on one or more government benefit programs, it may actually be beneficial in some ways (Source). But even then, I do not think such a policy would provide sufficient motivation for many people to make it on their own.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 04:22:38 PM by Valthazar »

Offline meikle

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2014, 05:33:42 PM »
So what is the ideal solution, in your opinion?  I always thought it was a given that we start out at the bottom, and work our way to the top through hard work.

I'm not sure.  It's not an area I'm well-researched, you know?  Here's what I think, though: I live in the most prosperous nation on the planet during an incredibly prosperous era (nevermind that all of the prosperity is hidden away with a tiny fraction of the population.)  Nobody here should be starting from the bottom.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2014, 07:31:10 PM »
I am sorry but I do not share the opinion that a 17 or 18 year old should graduate and be handed a job making 50 to 60k a year just because "no one should start at the bottom". Just like I do not like this whole "all children get a trophy" philosophy. I believe, and raised my children to know and understand that they have to bust their ass to get ahead in life. There is no handout for high paying jobs just because they completed high school. There is no easy way to get the well to do life.

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2014, 07:52:56 PM »
Personally I'm a little back and forth over this.

For this reason: college is expensive as all hell. No I do not think parents should be required to help pay for it, however, a child at 18 is suddenly thrust out in the world and expected to either go to college or suddenly be able to provide for him/herself completely.

The likeliness of this happening straight out of high school? Extremely low.

I live in the state with the highest unemployment rate right now. Over 9%.

Now in a state where jobs are scarce (yes even the menial shit jobs) is it fair to expect every 18 year old to suddenly be able to find not one but 3 jobs to be able to provide enough money to be completely free of their parents help?

I'm not saying 18 years olds should mooch. But I think that expecting every 18 year old to be able to fully provide for themselves the day they turn 18 is expecting more than is possible of most people.

College is free in France. If you study hard and pass a test, college is government paid for. If you do not go to college, then you join the workforce.

America isn't that easy. It costs thousands of dollars for education, even in the crappiest state colleges its over 1k.

I personally think that parents SHOULD help their children out after 18, not spoiling them, but just making sure they get out into the world ok.

Not sure I think it should be legal or not though nor how it would work.

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Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2014, 08:01:12 PM »
I am sorry but I do not share the opinion that a 17 or 18 year old should graduate and be handed a job making 50 to 60k a year just because "no one should start at the bottom". Just like I do not like this whole "all children get a trophy" philosophy. I believe, and raised my children to know and understand that they have to bust their ass to get ahead in life. There is no handout for high paying jobs just because they completed high school. There is no easy way to get the well to do life.

There is a difference between 'not starting at the bottom' and 'starting at the top'.

Offline roulette

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2014, 08:16:12 PM »
I'm far more interested in societal growth than individual character building.

I don't see how it's even remotely relevant for someone to have the skillset or durability that comes from working 60 hour weeks on minimum wage for 5-10 years when that's time they could be spent doing something that matters to the rest of the world. Getting an education and doing something more important than standing at a gas station register, or maybe having one decently-paying job and then spending some extra time volunteering, if you've got the extra energy to spend, etc.

I'm basically saying it's kinda ridiculous to me to enforce character building in this way. I agree with Meikle. There's no reason that in a prosperous society and prosperous circumstances that anybody needs to spend their time building up from the bottom. Our society continuously tries to become more prosperous for that reason. Why should anybody waste ten years trying to get by when they could have been the next genetic scientist?

I realize this post takes more radical views: I'm not even trying to claim that all the views stated here are right, but I'm just trying to offer another one. Hard work does not have to mean struggling to survive. Struggling to survive is not the only way to build independence and good qualities, and "Nothing is as motivating as having to take care of yourself" is just a felonious statement. Really? Really, nothing else in the world works?

Here's my example: I want to be a published writer. I would much rather take, say, maybe two years of mooching off my family and having the freedom to write, publish, and establish some income (this is just an example and surely an optimistic one at that), and be able to turn around and repay my family for the support they gave me and support them in their times of need. That will be worth a fuck ton more to me than struggling for the next five or ten years out of minimum wage jobs trying to pay rent and feed myself, constantly wanting to pull my hair out, and never having the time or energy to write, and never having the luxury to help those around me.

I'm just not buying the pricelessness of that kind of life experience. Is it great? Yes. That doesn't mean it's the best, or even close. That doesn't mean there aren't better options.

Extreme example:
I've learned a lot of life lessons from being emotionally abused. There are things I can look at and say, "I learned from that." But I can't say "That made me a better person" anymore. Because it made me better than what? Better than who I would have become if I had felt loved and secure? Better than if I hadn't been neglected?

I feel it's the same scenario. There is plenty of life experience and lessons to be taken from poverty and hard work via necessity, but desperation does not a hero make. Congratulations if you hit rock bottom and came back up without killing yourself or becoming a junkie! But that doesn't make you any better than someone who didn't have to deal with that kind of event—and it certainly doesn't make you better than the people who hit rock bottom and didn't make it out all right.

In summation, I don't think, say, that it's "bad for people to learn sacrifice, the value of hard work and learning how to work towards their goals" in the ways that have been discussed, but I disagree that being forced to do so alone is necessary or even optimal.

Offline BAMF

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2014, 09:07:59 PM »
There is a difference between 'not starting at the bottom' and 'starting at the top'.

This. Thank you for pointing this out, Oniya. I was going to until I saw you did. :)

Offline ValthazarTopic starter

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Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2014, 10:19:57 PM »
Why should anybody waste ten years trying to get by when they could have been the next genetic scientist?

I don't think it is accurate to suggest that the majority of 18-23 year olds would be so industrious with their time, if they were not working 60 hours/week.  More than likely, they'd be hanging out with friends, playing video games, or doing something else.

I see a lot of people bringing up college.  The reality is that way too many people are going to college, and it doesn't offer any job security anymore for the average matriculant.  A lot of kids shouldn't even be going to college, and they'd be better of working and saving up for another endeavor.  A part-time job in retail, may turn into a retail manager position with benefits.  I know more than a fair share of people who have gone down this path.

Check out this research study which determined how average American college students spend their time:


Source

51% of time spent on socializing, while only 7% of time spent in studying doesn't justify parents paying for this on a societal level.

Finally, the fact that minimum wage jobs exist, represent a workforce demand to fill those positions.  Unless there was a strategic reason, they would try to automate as much of these jobs as possible.  You'd be surprised how many of these jobs go unfilled (at least in my area).  Contrary to many others, I don't view these jobs as a "waste" - I always have respect for minimum-wage workers who do a good job.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2014, 10:21:03 PM »
First off - I have never once discussed the absolute shit I grew up with. It is none of anyone's business unless I decide to share it to trusted individuals.  So this attack on "this made me who I am" and "I learned from this" I find offensive. Because guess what? The utter shit of my past IS what has made me the strong willed, never keep me down, determined woman that I am. And I do believe that it isn't till you have been tested to your breaking point that you learn what you can do. It is just like tempering metal. 

I have also stated that I believe parents should help their adult children so long as the adult child is working, in college, or both. . I certainly do not expect my parents to pay my way while I do nothing and contribute nothing.

And no, having something handed to you just because you've become an adult does not build character.  Working for what you want does.

Offline meikle

Re: Legal Obligation to Support Kids Over 18
« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2014, 10:25:33 PM »
Finally, the fact that minimum wage jobs exist, represent a workforce demand to fill those positions.  Unless there was a strategic reason, they would try to automate as much of these jobs as possible.  You'd be surprised how many of these jobs go unfilled (at least in my area).  Contrary to many others, I don't view these jobs as a "waste" - I always have respect for minimum-wage workers who do a good job.

25% of someone's time dedicated to class, studying, and work/volunteering/clubs is more than a full time job.  Is someone who spends 40 hours a week at work and their free time socializing not making good use of their time?

Again: we really do not live in a setting where people should have to work 60+ hours a week at minimum wage to survive.  It's simply not necessary, and we know it's not necessary because we've enjoyed that kind of prosperity in the past -- back when jobs that weren't particularly glamorous and are billed as being only-appropriate-for-teenagers today like cashiering were sufficient to survive on.  They're not anymore -- why not?  We live in a world that is harder on young people than it was on the generation that came before us, and it's ridiculous to act like that's a good thing.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 10:29:47 PM by meikle »