Published: 04th June 2018
Should parents have the liberty to throw out their unemployed adult children?
On May 23, 30-year old Michael Rotondo's parents went to court to evict him out of their house. Should parents have the liberty to do so?
Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay
— The Dalai Lama
Grown-up children leaving parental homes is a complex situation that has thrown up a new phrase — Empty Nest Syndrome. For the uninitiated, it is a feeling of grief and loneliness that parents may feel when their children leave home, such as to live on their own. This can result in depression and a loss of purpose for parents since the departure of their children from ‘the nest’ leads to adjustments in parents’ lives. But we now have an interesting instance from the US which was reported by international news agencies on May 23, 2018, where a couple went to court to have their son thrown out of their home.
The promise of adventure didn’t do it. Neither did the lure of independence, or the weight of his 30 years. Instead, it took a judge to pry Michael Rotondo from his parents’ home. The New York couple won an eviction order against their son after a judge argued with Michael for 30 minutes.
“I don’t see why they can’t just wait a little bit for me to leave the house,” Michael told Donald Greenwood, a judge in the Onondaga County Supreme Court
“You say you’re entitled to six months, which really seems to be kind of outrageous, that somebody in this day and age could be in somebody else’s home with a six-month notice before they have to leave,” Greenwood said. “I mean, that creates all kind of problems.”
Christina and Mark Rotondo, the parents, resorted to legal action after a series of notes to their son failed to get him to move out of their home in Camillus, New York. The notes to Michael ranged from orders to leave and encouragement to get a job, to offers of more than $1,000 and help in finding a place. The notes escalated into a formally worded notice for Michael to leave within a 30-day deadline — which lapsed on March 15.
In the eviction case, the judge told Michael that his parents, as the owners of the house, have the right to decide who lives there. Michael, after asking for a 30-day notice period which the judge refused, said that he would review his options to appeal, adding that he might seek a stay of the eviction order. Going beyond the said case, the question now lies here - should grown-up children, lazy, unproductive and not bothered about helping with household chores, be allowed to hang around the parental house when the latter do not want them?
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(The views expressed here are the author’s own)