The day to day life of a parent can be hectic and overwhelming. Children are a blessing but from time to time they have a tendency to commit thoughtless acts. The last thing parents think about is the possibility of their child entering into a contract and whether they can be legally responsible for that contract. Understanding parental liability and contracting basics can help answer this very important topic.
In order to enter into an enforceable deal, all parties must have the legal capacity to contract. Currently in most states, minors cannot contract because they lack capacity by law. Because of this, it is more than likely that if a 16-year-old goes to a car dealership and tries to buy a Lamborghini, and the car dealer tries to enforce the contract after it becomes evident that the child was just a great actor, the contract will be invalidated in court.
Some transactions cannot be made, and for a transaction to in fact be enforceable, all parties must understand what is at stake. As such, there are some other bases to challenge liability for a minor’s contract, should enforcement be sought. Contracts can be undone if signed under duress or based on misrepresentation, when they are unconscionable or outrageously unfair, when an agreement is based on a mistake, and when it goes against public policy.
In some situations, parents can be held civilly liable for a minor’s negligence or violence. Some homeowner’s insurance policies cover accidents and injuries caused by children. In a very famous case pertaining to parental liability, an aunt sued her nephew for hugging her too hard. This lawsuit came about from the boy’s father’s insurer denying an injury claim.
If you have any concerns about liability for any situation your child is entangled in or, if you are looking for advice on any contract-related matter, feel free to come to the Kendrick Law Group. You can contact us at 407-641-5847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.