A 23-year-old woman from Spain sued her parents after they refused to continue to support her financially.
The woman, who has not been identified, lost her case after a judge ruled she was “too lazy to earn a living”.
In a ruling made public this week by the provincial court of Cantabria in the town of Castro Urdiales, in the north of the country, the woman was told she had wasted the opportunities available to her and was not owed anything by her parents.
The ruling recorded that parents are only obliged to provide food and shelter to their children until they are financially independent “unless that need is of the own child’s making”, reported Noticias de Navarra.
The woman took the legal action after her parents put pressure on her to take control of her own life, which she considered unfair. But the judge concluded that she had no money “through her own conduct” because she didn’t finish her school education or get any qualifications subsequently.
The judge added that “despite relatives paying for her to attend courses in computer and office skills, she either failed to enrol or dropped out”.
During the trial it emerged that the woman had, in fact, secured work in her home town of Castro Urdiales, as well as in the south of Spain and even in London, but had always quit.
“She either claimed it was too much work, too many hours, not enough money” said the ruling before concluding that “the appellant’s own behavior after reaching the age of maturity – behavior legally qualifiable as laziness and lacking productive use of time and opportunities – that has left said appellant in her current situation.”
Spain’s fragile economy means it has one of the highest unemployment rates among the young in Europe. This, in turn, means that it has become normal for people to continue living with their parents well into adulthood.
Official statistics show the average age at which Spaniards fly the nest is now 29. It is not clear whether the woman who sued her parents still lives with them.