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Pregnant 16 yr old, living outside the home and liability for damages caused by minor

East Palo Alto, CA |

My husband wants a divorce because he fears legal responsibility for any damages my daughter may cause. She is presently pregnant and in teen housing through San Mateo county (for pregnant teens) He threw her out of the house for an incident where she verbally threatened him in the height of an argument. She has no record through the courts. She has never done bodily harm, has put 2 holes in a door here. I feel he's exaggerating his fear. How can I legally protect our assets if in case my daughter does cause damage/liability?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Both you and your husband are legally responsible for your daughter's actions until she either turns 18 or is emancipated by the court. Kicking her out of the house doesn't help, it hurts, because she is more likely to get into trouble out of the house and who will pay for it? You and your husband will.

    Getting a divorce doesn't help either, because you would still each be liable for any harm that she causes to third parties.

    Have you tried family counseling. I highly recommend it.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

  2. If you think your husband is exaggerating his fear, he probably is. You say that your daughter has no record, has never hurt anyone, and she is pregnant. Are you sure throwing her out is what you want?

  3. I note that you said the daughter is your daughter. If he is not the father and hasn't adopted her he may not be responsible for her actions. To find out the answer to this consutl with local attorney experienced in this area of law.

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