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August 5, 2001
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A California judge has ordered parents to pay $3,500 in monthly child support to their 50-year-old son.
posted by rcade (14 comments total)

 
Anyone else catch this irony?

David Culp is a Stanford University graduate who practiced family law in Ventura County for 19 years.
posted by machaus at 7:47 AM on August 5, 2001


Somehow this just seems wrong. OK, granted, your family should be willing to help you out no matter what or where, but jeez, the guy is 50. Cut the apron strings already. Even the excuse that his problems were caused by his parents doesn't wash; assuming he's telling the truth and his father did abuse him, how is this supposed to help him get better, if he's just making himself co-dependent of his parents again?
posted by RylandDotNet at 8:22 AM on August 5, 2001


Well, I don't think its irony as much as his knowledge of the law is probably the reason Culp is pursuing the case so vigorusly.

Culp told his therapists his father physically and emotionally abused him and described his father in court documents as "an evil sadist" whose favorite sport was "humiliating the great lawyer in public."

Sounds like the only thing. Culp suffers from is an unhealthy dose of Ego.
posted by brucec at 8:22 AM on August 5, 2001


There was a case recently where two adults were forced to pony up the care for their elderly parents, for the rest of their parents' natural lives. While the whole trend worries me, at the same time, if his family was abusive, and it led to his mental health problems, why shouldn't his family take the burden off of the taxpayers and be forced to pay for what they did to their son?

"Matthews said parents should be responsible for caring for mentally ill children only until they reach adulthood. At that time, the state and federal government should take over, he said."

Oh, yeah - treat your kid so badly that he comes out of childhood with something akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and then let everybody else have to take care of it. This man's parents have an income per month of $20 000. I think they can handle his care.

I kind of like this law, only in that now, child abusers may have to pay, if only financially, for the lifelong damage they inflict on their children.
posted by kristin at 10:30 AM on August 5, 2001


Growing up is hard. I don't think anybody grows up without being able to make some case for psychological damage. Now, what this guy went through is probably pretty extreme, and so maybe this is a good decision for this case. But as a precedent... At a certain point, you're an adult responsible for your own life. We've got to stop blaming other people for all of our problems.

Hard cases make bad law.
posted by gd779 at 10:39 AM on August 5, 2001


So this lawyer bases his claim on a law which says "the father and mother have an equal responsibility to maintain, to the extent of their ability, a child of whatever age who is incapacitated from earning a living and without sufficient means."

And also wants his parents to pay him college tuition for his children.?

What am I missing?

posted by DBAPaul at 12:11 PM on August 5, 2001


Oh, yeah - treat your kid so badly that he comes out of childhood with something akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and then let everybody else have to take care of it. This man's parents have an income per month of $20 000. I think they can handle his care.

The trial was conducted in only two days. How much evidence could possibly have been presented to substantiate his claim of suffering "almost post traumatic stress disorder" from his father?

Regardless of the parents' ability to pay, I would expect our legal system to work a little harder to justify taking $42,000 away from parents to pay for an adult child.
posted by rcade at 12:37 PM on August 5, 2001


If parents don't take responsibility it becomes the problem of the taxpayer. I think the courts need to be very careful but I do believe when you have children you are responsible for them when they can't be responsible for themselves.
posted by rushmc at 1:04 PM on August 5, 2001


I could have sworn parents are allowed to ditch their kids after a certain birthday. 18 or something?

... damn, maybe that was just another one of their lies.
posted by whatnotever at 2:33 PM on August 5, 2001


Payment to whiny bigshot lawyer son: $3,500 a month

Payment to low-rent trailer park hitman: $1000 (one time)

Teaching the litigious little bastard that the old man still has a few tricks up his sleeve: Priceless.
posted by Optamystic at 3:26 PM on August 5, 2001


1000$ hmmm. through in the throw-away.
posted by clavdivs at 3:37 PM on August 5, 2001


Well, at least they get to claim him as a dependent on their income tax returns... <g>
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:29 PM on August 5, 2001


Payment to low-rent trailer park hitman: $1000 (one time)

Goodbye, cruel world. I'm so ashamed of what I did of my dad, who's a really amazing guy when you get to know him, that I've decided to kill myself by tying myself to a chair, breaking all of my fingers, shooting myself in the kneecaps and elbows and then sinking a couple of rounds into my chest and head at close range.

:)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:30 PM on August 5, 2001


This is stunning. Even assuming that the son's bipolar disorder and depression are, in fact, "disabling" to the extent that he closed his law practice, I don't recall seeing any reference to medication/therapy/treatment, all of which *usually* are enough to enable sufferers to live a relatively normal life (working, maintaining a home, etc). If he truly is incapable of sustaining himself, wouldn't it perhaps have been more appropriate for the judge to order the parents to pay for medical treatment and temporary living expenses? This open-ended arrangement is what really is frightening. Wonder if the parents will change their will (if they haven't already).
posted by davidmsc at 6:01 PM on August 5, 2001


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