Can Children Sue Their Parents?

Posted December 17th, 2015 by .

Categories: Family Law.

Children Suing Parents Anthony CarboneSome will shake their heads at the thought of children bringing a legal action against their parents.  However, what happens if there is a cause justifying a lawsuit? Can children sue their parents?

Personal Injury Claims

For exemplary purposes, let us presume that Mary is a backseat passenger in a car driven by her mother.  Mom is in a hurry to make sure Mary is on time for school and races through a stop sign.  Unfortunately, her mistake is the impetus for the resultant car crash.  Mary is severely injured.  It is clear that Mary’s mother caused or contributed to the accident.  Can Mary sue her mother?

In short, the answer is yes.  In many circumstances, Mary’s mother would have assumed the right to sue on her daughter’s behalf.  However, since the claim of action is against Mary’s mother, someone else will be appointed as guardian ad litem for the purposes of the lawsuit only.  A guardian ad litem acts on behalf of a child or someone else who is deemed incompetent.  More than likely, Mary’s father will be named as the person who can bring suit for Mary’s injuries.

Lawsuits Regarding Entitlements

In the past of couple of years, New Jersey has seen a couple of new types of lawsuits from children suing their parents.  According to news reports, one high school senior left her parents’ home with complaints that she was abused.  The teen went to court, seeking child support and college tuition.  The judge denied the young woman’s requests.  She ultimately returned home to her family.

Another New Jersey case dealt with adult child who was estranged from her parents.  In this case, the 21 year old young woman claimed tuition was promised to her by her divorced parents.  The courts ruled that the parents had a duty to make the tuition payments.  More than likely, the particulars of college tuition were spelled out in the divorce agreement.

Parental Immunity

There may be some circumstances where a child cannot sue a parent.  In these matters, an experienced attorney will review the case to determine the best legal action.

Contact Us

We are here to help you.  If you or a loved one needs the help of an experienced law firm, contact us.  The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has dealt with many types of legal cases for nearly three decades.  We will provide you with legal advice so that you can determine your best options.


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