Parental Responsibility Laws Parents Hold

Did you know that there are laws that hold parents responsible when negligence and mistreatment acts of children occur? 

Parents are liable legally for actions of children, even if they are minors. 

While the specifics do vary, almost every single state has some version of a law that applies to acts that are intentional towards the child, where the parent might be liable for the accidents of the kids too. 

The Parental Responsibility Laws 

These laws are a main part of the legal system and have been for over 100 years. The state of Hawaii was the first to implement this and that was back in 1846.  This law continues to be one of the most incorporating, and in most cases, the responsibility of the parents and children in criminal acts is there. 

While it might not be fair for both parties to be held responsible, that’s because a child is still young enough that if they do make mistakes like this, they should be held responsible but also the parent. 

That’s because the child isn’t fiscally responsible for all of their actions, but it can still play a big part in this. 

How Young are they 

Typically, it has to be someone under 18, but in a few cases, the responsibility can be for children up to 21 years of age, and also is important to understand that this does vary from state to state. 

What’s an Example of this 

Let’s say your child is destroying property, like expensive property. Parents may be responsible for the damages that the child creates. 

This also involves personal injury too. If your child causes personal injury, the parent is responsible for the damages injured. 

That’s because the child doesn’t have the independence to take full responsibility, so if they are engaging in negligent acts either with or without the permission of parents, you’re going to run into trouble. 

If a child causes damage to religious structures along with personal injury, the parents are liable for damages of this as well, so remember that. 

And parents are liable for the damage a child creates in this case.  But as well, the parents have a limit in some cases.  In some states, it might not be limited, but in others, it might be a couple of hundred or even a couple thousand dollars.  It also reflects property damage too, since parents might be liable for that too. 

A Parent’s Responsibility when a Child Drives a Car 

In some states, there are parental liability laws in place that make parents responsible for injuries and damage to vehicles that monitors create, especially if accidents happen. 

Some states have statues that define the legal liability of parents and adults, and they are what’s called “sponsorship” laws. 

In “sponsorship laws” states, the person under 18 needs to be “sponsored” by a parent or guardian to get a license. It could also be an employer, or anyone who is willing to accept responsibility for this. 

If a minor does something that results in injuries or other issues, this is then put on the sponsor, and this is still in place even if the person doesn’t have the minor living with them and whatnot. 

When it comes to personal responsibility, for a lot of parents, they still need to have it, even if the fault lies on the child, and it’s important to know what the liability for children and parents is before you let kids go out on the road, or if you know there is something they won’t take responsibility for, you need to step in.

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