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Parents are resposible for their kids.READ!

Discussion in 'Seasoned Marijuana Users' started by Bud Head, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. The Basics
    Your kid's troubles can cost you a bundle

    Know what your children are up to? Better find out. You're liable for virtually any kind of trouble -- vandalism, fights, pregnancy -- they can get into.

    By Christopher Solomon

    Raising the next generation is one of life's great rewards, but a bad seed can quickly turn the usual headaches of parenthood into migraines. Nationwide, even good parents increasingly are being held responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in damages and other costs when a child breaks the law or otherwise misbehaves.

    Many states, for example, require parents to pay for a child's stay in juvenile hall. In Wisconsin, the parents of minors who have a baby could be held financially responsible until the minor turns 18.

    The best defense -- after raising children who know to keep their noses clean -- is for parents to know what they're on the hook for if a child commits a crime, say attorneys and insurance industry representatives. Here's a look at some of the most common actions of delinquents and how they can affect you, the parent:

    Today more than two-thirds of the states -- California, New Jersey, Michigan and Texas included -- have laws that make parents of a delinquent liable for restitution for an act such as vandalism, beyond liability in civil court, according to the National Center for Juvenile Justice. State laws vary widely, with parents liable for anywhere from a few thousand dollars to unlimited amounts.See the numbers
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    “I had a case where a child set fire to an apartment building -- an entire apartment building -- so the restitution was literally in the tens of thousands,” recalls Andre Johnson, assistant public defender in DeKalb County, Ga. The child, of course, had no money, so the judge made the parent responsible for making restitution -- all of it.

    In California, parents can be liable for up to $25,000 for each graffiti or defacing incident, and the city or county where the graffiti is located can place a lien against the property of a parent or guardian to recover cleanup costs.
    Will insurance help pay the bill? Maybe.

    Homeowners insurance will often cover the acts of children under age 13. “If a 2-year-old is out drawing on a car with a key, the assumption is that they do not know that they shouldn't be out there doing that,” says Karl Newman, president of the Washington Insurance Council. Insurance would cover that.

    Children ages 13 and over, however, are generally presumed to know right from wrong. Read your policy, since coverage can vary by state.

    “Parents might inquire of their carriers if children over 13 can be covered with policy riders. This is rare, but an inquiry would be advisable,” says attorney John Biggers, author of “Kids Law: A Practical Guide to Juvenile Justice.”

    A good rule of thumb: While the negligence of juveniles around the house is sometimes covered, “Generally speaking, your policies exclude illegal acts -- and you should assume your policy excludes illegal acts,” says Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute.

    Fights and assaults
    The schoolyard bloody nose is almost a rite of childhood. As with vandalism, however, parents might have to pay, particularly if the incident showed planning or “willful misconduct.” In California, parents may have to pay up to $10,000 in damages for such assaults -- and also may have to pay up to $10,000 as a reward to the person who turned in their child.

    Here's another incentive to keep your teen on a leash: At least 13 states now hold parents criminally liable if they fail to supervise children they know to be delinquent. For example, parents in Louisiana who allow their children to become members of a known street gang can be fined up to $250, sent to jail for up to 30 days and forced to participate in community service or family counseling, above and beyond being responsible for any damages caused by the gang member.

    Parents “can't really count on their insurance to bail them out” when their child pummels another, says Newman. Here's how Newman draws the distinction: “If your 15-year-old kid falls out of the tree house, lands on the neighbor's kid and knocks his tooth out, that's probably covered. If he jumps out on purpose and knocks his tooth out, that's not covered.”

    One day Junior decides that he likes the neighbor's plasma screen TV so much that he tries to steal it, only to drop and break it. Guess what? You, the parent, can expect to be on the hook. Under Missouri's parental liability statute, for example, parents can be forced to pay up to $4,000 in restitution and damages caused by the minor, says Columbia, Mo., attorney Steve Scott. Insurance likely won't help you pay for any item a teenager steals, whether it's a new DVD or a vintage GTO.

    Even when parents aren't liable, however, they may feel great pressure to pick up the tab so that one incident doesn't ruin their child's life. In Washington State, for example, a 12 year-old who steals a $3,000 mountain bike must pay back the amount by his 18th birthday or the repayment order becomes a civil judgment -- which can trash a young adult's credit record, make it hard to rent an apartment and generally haunt them, says author Biggers.

    Auto accidents
    If a child drinks and drives and then gets into a wreck, that wreck will usually be covered by insurance. (It may be very difficult to get affordable insurance for the young driver thereafter, however.) On the other hand, if your child takes a car for a joyride and wrecks it, insurance won't step in.

    There is a way to limit your exposure as a parent when it comes to kids and cars: Don't skimp. Some parents try to lower their insurance premiums by not listing the family's young drivers (those under age 25) on the policy, instead counting them under the “permissive drivers” clause of most policies, which covers occasional users.

    If a young driver gets in an accident in which the insurer may have to pay out serious money, expect the insurer to thoroughly investigate how much that person truly drove the car. “The company will probably cover a single accident, but the policy might then be canceled by the company (because the parent did not divulge the teenage driver beforehand), and certainly if the policy is continued, it will carry a much higher premium,” says Biggers.

    File sharing
    In 2003 the music industry came down hard on people who shared music for free over the Internet, claiming that the trading violated copyrights and amounted to stealing. Federal law permits the recording industry to seek up to $150,000 in civil damages for a single willful copyright infringement.

    So far, the industry has settled with individual parents for a few thousand dollars. It's unclear, though, whether parents would have to pay anyway, since copyright law requires that a person know that an illegal activity was taking place. In short, ignorance of your child's computer activities may protect you -- or not, if your state is one that requires parents to pay for a child's wrongdoing regardless of whether the sin was known.

    5 options for worried parents
    Unfortunately, parents can't easily escape liability for their juvenile child's actions. “There is no legal proceeding that a parent can use as a shield,” says Biggers. “Your kid is your kid until he's 18,” unless that child is in the custody of another parent, he says.

    Parents might even be held responsible to some degree if the child runs away and causes harm, adds attorney Scott. And while children ages 18 or over who live at home generally are considered adults and are on their own, a parent who, for example, negligently entrusts liquor and car keys to a DUI-prone adult child could face liability, says Scott.

    What do you do if all else fails, and a child's misbehavior (and the resulting costs) are seriously mounting?

    Counseling: These days, counseling often is ordered by the court. Police departments, crisis hotlines and medical clinics can recommend local nonprofit counseling agencies, which charge based on income of the family. A session with a private counselor can range from $60 to $110, says William Sze, Ph.D., a licensed mental-health counselor in Seattle. However, a family's insurance usually pays for a juvenile to see a counselor up to 20 times in one year, says Sze.

    Drug/alcohol rehabilitation: Many HMO plans offer limited coverage for substance abuse, and may or may not include detox programs. Check with your health-care provider.

    Tough-love camps: These programs put young people through a strict regimen and sometimes physical hardship in order to teach sobriety, discipline and good habits. Methods of some have been highly controversial, so it's advisable to do lots of homework. Insurance is less likely to cover these. A 45-day program with Idaho-based Wilderness Quest costs about $16,000.

    Support groups: Often it's helpful to vent to fellow parents about troubles with children and hear others' advice. Parents Anonymous, a nationwide group, offers weekly, free of charge, support sessions for parents. ToughLove International, a nonprofit self-help organization, also has free parental support groups in cities nationwide.

    Military school. With tuitions ranging from 13,000 to $25,000 annually, it's admittedly a drastic and expensive alternative. But depending on how much of a liability your child has become, that might be the best investment you'll ever make -- for your future and your child's.'s+troubles+can+cost+you+a+bundle
  2. That is fuckin' BS. The kids should be punished, not the parents, unless the parents are clearly irresponsible with the kid. If the parents want to pay those fines and can afford it fine, but if one can't then why ruin them?
  3. lol... if they punish my dad for ALL the shit i do... i KNOW hes gonna punish my ass 10x harder
  4. ^^but ur not a minor so, so u will get charged... cuz u have to be older than 18 to post here...
  5. But if your a responcible parent and raise your kids "right "you won,t have any problems. rotflmao :D

  6. every kid go throw a part of rebel in there life.. dosent really matter how they where raise..
  7. Yeah, seems like shit to me. I have been right up thier asses at school over my son and with the probation officer as well. They can't say I'm not involved. I can say that the p.o. told me Not to use a belt when disciplining my son but to use a PADDLE. Yes, I whip his ass for him when he needs it. Somebody has to! I love them boys and I want them to grow up to be respectful people. Thier at that age - not kids, notclose to adults. Been there, done that. Much different when I did it.
  8. l got 4 kids that have all had the same upbringing and they are all individuals.l wonder where l went wrong ???? :D
  9. You do everything you can for your kids and there is still a chance they will fall into the wrong crowd...for some the grass is greener on the other side..

    I hjave delt with that with my oldest.. I got his ass straightened out though..

    I don't have kids that would cause me to go to jail for anything... They try and avoid all trouble!
  10. I hate that i can get in trouble for knocking someones face in. >.< Damn rich parents and their pussy ass kids.

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