Are Parents Responsible For Children Till the Day the Parent Die?

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Parents are obliged to pay for the damages caused by their childrens negligence, intentions or criminal actions. Parents also have the legal right to make certain important decisions about the lives of their children. Children, however, do not continue to enjoy these Parental liabilities and obligations till the parents die but are terminated when the child attains the age of majority (Cipriani, 2013 pg 29). The law requires that parents should continue supporting their minor children by providing them with the basic needs like clothes, food and shelter and failure to provide these necessities can be reason enough to press neglect or abuse charges in most Nations. However, not unless the children have a disability or require special attention, parents are under no obligation to be responsible for their children who are beyond the age of 18 years. Parents are therefore not responsible for their parents till the parents die, but until they attain the minority age.

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To begin with the age of majority is a legal age. It implies that children are legally in power over their decisions and actions be it negligence, intentional or criminal. It means that they can be legally punished by a court of law for their actions without involving the parent as the parents are not legally liable. The law considers people who are above this age as adults who clearly understand legal impacts and consequences of their actions. It indicates that the parents are not legally liable in any way for their children after they have attained 18 years.

Again, when children are above the age of 18 years, they are legally permitted to sell their labor at a price. It means that they are allowed by the law to work or offer their labor services for wages and prices. Since these children are considered to have attained the full number of years to be an adult, they can legally perform jobs whether hazardous or not. From the wages they earn, they can comfortably provide food clothing and other necessities for themselves. Since they are capable of providing for themselves, the parents do not have to keep offering additional support to them as it is not even required by the law.

In many states, especially in developed countries, children who are above this age have completed their studies, established a career and are probably in their first jobs. They have the obligation to pay taxes, right to vote and to acquire property just like any other adult. Most of them have well-paying jobs from which they can afford to purchase beautiful cars, big houses and other luxuries. It makes no sense for a parent to continue offering material support to such children since they have the capability to attain even better than the parents can provide (Young, 2013 pg 44)

In conclusion, although a parent does not stop being a parent after their kids become majors, their liabilities and obligations are limited then their kids reach this age. Although children too do not cease to be children to their parents when they are no longer minors, their parents are not legally liable for their criminal actions and cannot go to jail for the criminal actions of their children. Also, although parents may feel that they should pay for fines and penalties charged to their child under the civil law, it is entirely not their obligations, and the law cannot punish them for that (Peters, 2015 pg 18). From the above discussion, it is evident that parents are only responsible for their children till they are 18 years and not until the parents die.

Work cited

Cipriani, Don. Childrens rights and the minimum age of criminal responsibility: a global perspective. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013.

Cline, Foster, and Jim Fay Parenting with love and logic: Teaching children responsibility. Tyndale House, 2014

Peters, Richard Stanley. Authority, responsibility and education Routledge, 2015

The writer

Young, Iris Marion, and Martha Nussbaum Responsibility for justice Oxford University Press 2013

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