It might not be uncommon for parents to support their children through university, but one Austrian father has had enough of supporting his daughter. He took her to court arguing that she had taken an undue amount of time to graduate, and he should not have to pay more than the average.
The daughter, who is not named, studied architecture at the University of Vienna. While she did graduate, it took her 13 semesters to do so.
The average duration of an architecture bachelor’s degree from the University of Vienna usually takes students around eight semesters to complete.
The Supreme Court decided that the father did indeed have a case, and ruled that he was only liable to support his daughter for 10 of her semesters of study.
These extra semesters amounted to 39 months of payments the father was not obliged to pay, the court ruled, and therefore the student will have to repay her own father to the tune of €24,000 (including interest).
She will also be made to pay €8,000 in legal costs.
The father won this Supreme Court case after losing two cases at lower courts.
The Austrian press report that this is not an isolated case. In fact, the legal firm who represented the father in this case, has dealt with six similar cases in the past two years.
The ruling means that students who rely on their parents for financial aid whilst in university must study “in a serious and determined manner”, or risk losing their funding in a similar fashion.
One Austrian paper, Heute suggested that in cases such as this, there is “often a lack of communication between parents and children”.