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NJ teen drops lawsuit against parents; family 'happy to be reunited'

A New Jersey teenager who drew international attention when she sued her parents for financial support after leaving home in a dispute dropped the case against them on Tuesday, according to court records. Rachel Canning, 18, filed papers to dismiss the lawsuit in New Jersey family court, saying the decision was voluntary. The lawsuit's dismissal ends a public battle between Canning and her paren
High school senior Rachel Canning, 18, appears in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, N.J., Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Canning is suing her paren...
Rachel Canning, 18, seen here in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, N.J. on March 4, 2014 decided to drop the lawsuit against her parents for financial support and college tuition.Bob Karp / AP
High school senior Rachel Canning, 18, seen here in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, N.J., on March 4, 2014 decided to drop her lawsuit against her parents for financial support and college tuition.Bob Karp / Today

A New Jersey teenager who drew international attention when she sued her parents for financial support after leaving home in a dispute dropped the case against them on Tuesday, according to court records. 

Rachel Canning, 18, filed papers to dismiss the lawsuit in New Jersey family court, saying the decision was voluntary. 

The lawsuit's dismissal ends a public battle between Canning and her parents that raised questions about the obligations of non-divorced parents in New Jersey to continue to financially support adult children after they leave home. 

Canning returned to her parents' home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, last week after a four-month estrangement that began when she turned 18, the legal age of adulthood. 

On Tuesday, her parents' attorney released a statement to TODAY: 

Elizabeth and Sean Canning seen here in Morris County Superior Court on March 4, 2014 listen to a testimony. Their daughter was suing them for money but has decided to drop it.Bob Karp / Today

Rachel had sued her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, for her private high school tuition, living expenses and access to a college fund, arguing that though she did not reside with them, she was not legally emancipated and therefore was entitled to their financial care. 

Her parents said they would continue to pay for their daughter's education and expenses if she returned home to complete high school. 

Canning contended in her lawsuit that she was emotionally abused and effectively abandoned. Her parents argued that their daughter had disciplinary problems at home and school and would not conform to house rules that included curfews and chores. 

During the estrangement, Rachel Canning had been living with a friend's family, who also funded her lawsuit.