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Is it ok for my children to stay home alone?

Madison, MS |

I live in MS, I am a single mother and have to work 2 jobs in order to make ends meet.....that means I get off from my day job at 5 and then go to my night job until 10 or 10:30....my children are 12 & 14....is it legal for them to stay home alone without an adult?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I am not aware of a specific law that sets an age limit for leaving a child home alone. The age at which it is safe to leave a child home alone varies considerably and depends upon each child's level of judgment, maturity and all other relevant circumstances. Thus, it is up to the discretion of the parents. If you feel it is safe, appropriate and necessary, then it probably is. I suggest you ensure that there is an adult nearby who the children can reach out to in an emergency and that you review the "house rules" and safety procedures frequently. Good luck!

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@hotmail.com. All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


  2. I completely agree with Attorney Brown. I would only add that in the event of a custody battle, this would be very difficult to defend. Also, if something were to happen to the children and DHS got involved, again, you would be in an extremely difficult situation.

    This reply is provided for information purposes only and does not represent legal advice or an attorney-client relationship.