Parental Liability Laws: What You Need to Know

Parenting can be a person's greatest joy, but it also requires a significant amount of responsibility. Parents are obligated to pay for damages caused by their children. Most of the time, a parent can be forced to pay for any negligent actions, intentional offenses, or criminal acts. Parental liability normally kicks in when a child turns about eight and lasts until the child is about 18.

Today, most states have laws relating to parental liability and the law's applications in real situations. Children's offenses can be civil or criminal. Civil lawsuits involve personal injury cases or other offenses where another person is seeking damages from your child. Criminal law actions involve law enforcement and the state penal code for sentencing. Many actions can trigger both civil and criminal actions, such as a hit-and-run accident.

When a child damages property or causes injury to another person, then the injured victim has the right to seek compensation. Chances are that the child who caused does not have finances, so that parents will need to take on the responsibility. Parents can also be criminally responsible for the delinquent acts of a child. In some states, the penal codes even provide sentences for those that contribute to the delinquency of a minor.

If you are being blamed with responsibility for a child's actions, but are not the rightful parent of the child, then you may want to start a paternity case. There are times that parents will try to shift blame to guardians, or situations where an adoptive parent may try to place blame on a child's biological parents. In these cases, it is always important to get a Los Angeles family attorney on your side. Hire a lawyer today if you want more information about liability and paternity in these situations!