The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Keep An Eye on Your Problem Child or It Could Cost You

Do you have a disciplinary problem with your kid? You've tried disciplining little Jimmy, but you don't believe in a good old fashioned paddling. You can't even watch Problem Child because it hits a little too close to home. Every time you hear a scream, you immediately look around to see who little Jimmy is torturing.

It's time to face facts: Your child has a problem. If you don't get it under control, it could end up costing you a lot of money thanks to the Illinois Parental Responsibility Law.

We know. Boys will be boys, right? That's true. And lawyers will be lawyers. If your child injures someone intentionally, Illinois now hold you responsible. The general rule used to be that parents were not liable for the intentional acts committed by their kids. However, the parental responsibility law took effect on January 1, 2009.

According to the new rule, if a minor child (at least 11, not quite 19) commits a willful or malicious act that causes an injury to another, the parent or legal guardian with whom they reside is liable for the damages resulting from their kid's actions, plus reasonable attorney's fees for the injured party.

So, whether your kid is detonating explosives in a toilet (like Junior in Problem Child II) or engaging in more serious violent crimes, you are exposed, liability-wise.

What's the solution if your child is the illegitimate son of Satan? Well, if they are young enough, a kid leash could do the trick. If the "kid" is older and committing violent crimes, you might have to think about more serious measures. Other than that, you'll have to consult an expert. We're just a legal blog.

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