Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. Maine: Parents are liable only for a child’s willful or malicious damage to a person or property. Convenient, Affordable Legal Help - Because We Care! However, the court can order sole parental responsibility, with or without visitation, when it is in the best interests of' the minor child. There is a similar limit for property damage. In some states, parents may even be liable for accidents caused by their children. If, while driving a car, the minor is negligent or engages in willful misconduct, any damages resulting from the conduct can be imputed to the adult sponsor. Browse US Legal Forms’ largest database of 85k state and industry-specific legal forms. Illinois: Parents may be responsible for a child’s willful or malicious property damage or acts causing personal injury. It is to be noted that before awarding sole parental responsibility, the trial courts are required to make a specific finding of the harm to the child. You can learn more about Vicarious Liability for Parents of Teen Drivers on our affiliated site, all-about-car-accidents.com. Those statutes are typically called “sponsorship laws.”. The age at which a child legally becomes an adult varies from state to state, but in most states that age is 18. Parents are also liable for a child’s damage to any religious structure such as a church, synagogue, mosque or cemetery. Get the USLegal Last Will Combo Legacy Package and protect your family today! Anti-Contact Rule [Lawyers Professional Responsibility], Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. There is no limit on a parent’s financial exposure. If you have parental responsibility for a child but you do not live with them, it does not mean you have a right to spend time with your children. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. Most states that have parental responsibility laws have established the rule that parents can be held responsible for the acts of their child only until the child reaches 18 years of age. A number of states have passed parental liability laws that make a parent liable for any resulting injuries and vehicle damage when a minor child causes a car accident. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Accidents and Injuries Involving Children, Vicarious Liability for Parents of Teen Drivers. A minor is any person who has not yet reached the age of majority. Louisiana: Parents are liable for any damage caused by a child. Parental responsibility laws have been a mainstay of our legal system for more than a century. Copyright © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. When parental responsibilities are determined through courts, the court allows the parent with decision-making responsibility to determine the child's upbringing, including his/her religious training. Usually, parental responsibilities include both "parenting time" and "decision-making responsibilities." Parental responsibility refers to a set of rights and privileges that children have with their parents and with those adults who have a significant role in the child's life as the basis of their relationship. Parental responsibility for separated parents. This is true even if the sponsor had no actual control over the minor, and did not own the vehicle. Many people don't realize that parents can be held legally liable for the acts of their minor children. Hawaii was the first state to enact a law of this type in 1846, and to this day Hawaii’s version of the law remains one of the most encompassing in its application. Parental responsibility Related Content Under the Children Act 1989, "parental responsibility" means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property. Usually, the parental responsibility for a minor child must be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Though the specifics vary, almost every state has enacted some version of this kind of law, and it usually applies to intentional acts committed by the child. In those instances a parent’s financial responsibility is capped at $5,000. Hawaii was the first state to enact a law of this type in 1846, and to this day Hawaii’s version of the law remains one of the most encompassing in its application. (Get the basics on Accidents and Injuries Involving Children.). Parents may also be liable for damages resulting from a child’s negligent acts while operating an automobile with the parents’ permission. The reasoning behind such laws is that parents have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to supervise their minor children, and if they fail to fulfill that obligation, and the child ends up causing harm to another person or to property, the parent is legally (usually that means financially) responsible. Parental responsibility laws have been a mainstay of our legal system for more than a century. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. The amount for which a parent may be liable in any single incident is $20,000. However, at least one state has expanded parental responsibility to include children up to 21 years of age in certain situations. A parent’s financial exposure is limited to $800, regardless of the amount of actual loss. The sponsor is typically a parent, but may also be an employer or other adult. The parents can be responsible for another person’s medical expenses up to $25,000. In those states, anyone under the age of 18 must have a “sponsor” in order to obtain a driver’s license. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. However, many states also have specific statutes further defining the legal liability of a parent or other adult in that situation. In most states, the concept of parental responsibility applies to both the criminal and civil acts of the child. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. As mentioned above, laws governing parental responsibility differ widely among the states, but here is a small sampling: California: Parents can be held liable for any “willful misconduct causing injury, death or property damage” by a minor under the age of 18. Parental Responsibility Law and Legal Definition Parental responsibility refers to a set of rights and privileges that children have with their parents and with those adults who have a significant role in the child's life as the basis of their relationship. New Jersey: Parents may be liable for a child’s acts, but only for damage to railroads, public utilities, or school property. While it may appear to be unfair for a parent to be held responsible for the acts of a child, state legislatures have decided that an innocent victim should not bear the financial burden of property damage or medical expenses that results from some other person's wrongdoing.

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