Children suing parents, why not more?

Is there some legal reason(s) that are responsible for so few children, especially older ones of legal age, that keep them from going after the people that brought them into this strange, dangerous, competitive world and whom (they feel) dropped the ball big-time in raising them?

I won’t include my own disaster of a childhood, but will say that I’ve heard countless horror stories over the years of other kids that were neglected and/or treated something horribly by the very people that brought them into the world and really screwed up with the job they were charged to do.

To my way of thinking, a law firm specializing in handling such cases would make a killing (though would need bullet-proof vests…) and eventually the message would start to sink into the collective masses of parents and those considering becoming parents that, “Hey! You best make an honest effort to do a decent job or the odds are that your kid(s) will one day see you in court!”

Well there you have it. It’s an unsavory question but in view of all the millions of kids getting throttled by good old mom and day these days, Methinks it’s at least worth exploring.

I don’t know what’s the law like in your jurisdiction, but a few years back I asked what are the duties of adult children towards their parents, in Spain. One of the things I found out is that they are almost the same duties parents have toward their minor children: the difference is that in the case of minor children, parents are required to comply with compulsory education. The caretakers must provide the following:

  • Shelter,
  • Food,
  • Clothing,
  • Medical care.

And the recipient doesn’t get to choose the conditions. There are extreme situations which fall under the criminal code instead, but under the civil code, nope: there is nothing that says your parents have to be good at their parenting job, pleasant people, etc.

To the OP, what would be the cause of action?

I don’t know of any insurance company that writes parental malpractice policies and if we are to believe all the sensational news stories, most of the baby boom and Gen-X parents are going into retirement flat broke. So no law firm is going to bother with trying to get uncollectable judgements on a contingency basis. And few people want to pay their hourly rate to try to win an uncollectable judgement.

Most IRAs, 401k plans, and similar are protected from creditors.

Failing to treat the kid with human respect and consideration … a mom boozing it up when pregnant, a dad hitting the kid for no good reason, harming the child by exposing him/her via too many mindless cartoons, not taking the child to museums and libraries, not engaging the child in matters concerning the world, i.e. spiritual, social, philosophical, current events, political, workplace, etc. and blasting them with too much criticism and making them basically walk on egg shells and … not giving them sufficient amounts of decent food so their minds and bodies can grow properly.

I know that payback time is when the parent is old and the kid gets to return the hate but, still, why not just break the cycle and do things sensibly and SUE THE CRAP OUT OF THE PARENT INSTEAD?:smiley:

None of those are causes of action in any jurisdiction that I am aware of.

401ks offer the most protection. IRAs not so much. Although the IRA assets are safer if under $1M. It varies state by state.

And how on earth are any of these things supposed to be quantified as too much/too little.? And by whom? And how will everyone agree on “too many cartoons” or “engaging in worldly concerns”?

Beyond silly to even attempt, in my opinion.

So at the same time I’m suing my parents for not taking me to enough museums and libraries, one of my sisters is suing for having been taken to too many. How’s that work?

To be fair to Dibbs several things he has listed would qualify as child abuse like inadequate nutrition.

Too many cartoons is rather laughable.

People have been given the ability to make children without knowing or desiring how to raise them first, nor does the child come with a instruction manual. It is pretty evident that parental deficiency is a normal part of humanity, so there was nothing done wrong, so no case.

Your implication is that jerk parents are commonly wealthy folks with giant retirement nest eggs just waiting to be raided. To be sure, some jerk parents do fit this profile, but I suspect most do not. And jerk parents who are wealthy can afford a five-star lawyer to defend themselves, so their nest eggs will not be raided so easily.

A good lawyer and child psychologist could sort through it and argue to a jury that the kid got a bad deal from the crap parents, I could almost guarantee it.

In that scenario your sister wouldn’t have a case, but you would.

Not if the kids’ emotional and/or psychological wellbeing was been damaged or stunted.

As soon as my kids learned to write their names, I had them sign releases my attorney wrote up. It’s the only sensible way to parent in these litigious times.

There was once a time when disabled people didn’t have wheelchair access to public places, but that changed when matters went to court and things were argued out.

Then please explain what ‘too many cartoons’ constitutes?

Or, ‘exposure to worldly concerns’, do tell us how that shall be determined.

Should be easy if you can ‘practically guarantee’ a case could be won! So let’s hear it, draw the lines for us concerning:

What’s too much, what’s too little?

And how should the parents have known that would happen? It’s not as if they received any training to be parents. Speaking as a parent myself, I can assure you that none of us have any idea what we’re doing. We just muddle through as best we can.

“Your honor, we request you grant this restraining order protecting little Jimmy, who does not wish to eat his vegetables.”