Rights Protected Under Illinois Parental Responsibility Law
Under the Illinois Parental Responsibility Law, parents may be held responsible for personal damages and injuries their children cause. The law dictates parental rights on child custody. Depending on the law, parents may find themselves in a lawsuit as their children’s (minors) legal guardians.
Who Is Liable As Per The Illinois Parental Responsibility Law?
To understand parental liability in Illinois, we first need to understand the terms governing it.
A ‘legal guardian’ is any individual who is the appointed guardian of the children or is given child custody of a minor by a circuit court. This does not include adults with guardian status given to them by a juvenile court.
A ‘minor’ is any child older than 11 years of age but not 19 years old. For the parental responsibility law to apply, minors must live with their legal guardian.
Legal guardians can be held liable for damages their wards cause till the latter’s 19th birthday. This means they are liable even if the child is 18 years old. Even if the child is younger than 11, their legal guardian may be held responsible to some degree.
Parental Rights under Parental Responsibility Law
That is not to say that all parents who are legal guardians are legally liable for all damages their children cause. The law takes the child’s negligence into account as well. So liability may be waived if a child accidentally caused a fire by, say, knocking over a candle in play. Only willful and malicious acts of a minor that cause injuries or damages to another are considered.
In other words, to be held liable, the child’s act must be deliberate. If not, liability does not usually extend to the parents if, say, their child unintentionally caused a car accident because of carelessness.
Maximum Cap for Damages
If the child is found guilty, parents can face hefty damages. The maximum cap in Illinois is $20,000 for the first event, which can add another $10,000 for patterns or future malicious acts. So you can face upwards of $30,000 or more if your child causes damages with malicious intent. The amount can also include attorney fees and taxable costs.
Determining who the liable parent is can get tricky if you are getting divorced and wish to split child custody with your ex. Even if you are responsible for their upbringing, making essential decisions, etc., the responsibilities the other parent shares may also be considered before a decision is made.
If you are going through a divorce, finalizing these arrangements, along with spousal support and marital assets, can make the transition to a single parent easier to manage. Experienced child custody attorneys like Dan Walker have the skills, experience, and connections you need.
Contact Dan Walker Law Office for a Consultation Today!
If you are facing stressful child custody or divorce issues, contact Dan Walker Law Office to ease your burden. Dan is a licensed lawyer proficient in family law and has been in practice for more than four decades. He is available when you require legal assistance ad will advocate for your goals. Book a consultation by dialing 630-920-8800.