You are here

What is the liability for NCP when children break the law?

Candice's picture

BM recently told dh that she doesn't want ss visiting or seeing him any longer. He is 13, and going along with what his mother wants. We have decided that we can no longer fight his mother and try to give this child a decent childhood, undo the damage she is causing and then turn around and try to instill good ethics and morals into a very confused child. Our marriage, our son and our stress levels just can't deal with bm any longer.

Does anyone know what our liabilities are for NCP if ss breaks the law and cause serious harm to a person/property? We are NCP, and we are seriously considering revising the parenting plan to show bm has sole custody instead of joint for the purpose of protecting ourselves. Bm is raising ss to be a criminal and we can do nothing to prevent it, undo it, and correct it, so I'm just wondering if NCP do have the same liability as CP, or if a modification is due.

Thanks in advance,

Anne 8102's picture

I think - not sure, but think - that it depends on who is supposed to have care, custody and control of the child when the offense is committed, but if you're that concerned about protecting yourselves, then I think giving her full legal custody would probably get you off the hook, unless he does something while he is in your care, custody and control (like during visitation, if he ever decides to visit again). Even then, I wouldn't think that you would be any more liable than a babysitter or whatever, as long as she has full legal custody and DH doesn't share legal custody. Doing this would also give her full authority to make decisions, etc. and no responsibility to keep DH informed, but if she's like a lot of the other BMs, then she's probably already doing that, anyway. It limits your liability, but it also limits your rights. I'd be worried about having any liability for a child over whom I'm not allowed or can't exert any positive influence, too.

~ Anne ~

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Candice's picture

anymore. She can violate our rights again and again with little to no ramification, and it just costs us our lives and money, so we are essentially giving up rights for visitations and influence on ss. We still send cs and provide medical insurance coverage, but dh doesn't call or write, or attempt to outrigt make regular contact due to the fact she will be waiting to cause a fight when he may attempt to have any contact with ss. Ss is also highly resistent towards his dad, so we are letting her have whatever it is she wants. She will only want dh to have contact with ss when her decisions blow up in her face, and she needs dh to "fix" ss.

I just want to know if we need to go through the extra effort to modify the parenting plan just to protect ourselves, or if you are right and she is already responsible for his actions. I hope you are. It will save me a lot of headache. Thanks for the input.


Anonymous's picture

This is a very interesting topic/point of view. I thought that only me and my DH felt this way, but my DH is pretty much fed up as well. He does send his CS, well, actually it's garnished because she wanted it that way, not because he didn't send it on his own...Anyway, for years we have seen SD going down the wrong path and BM doing nothing about it. At 5 she was wearing jeans so tight she had to LAY DOWN to zip them...and shirts so skimpy she couldn't even figure out how to tie all the spaghetti straps herself...sad...veyr sad...And now at 12, she's wearing makeup, almost actually 13 (in September) and is finishing 5th grade...We yet do not know if she's failed again this year or not, as BM lies to DH...In addition, she has a myspace page claiming to be 14, when she's 12...with words such as F...K...and BITC..ES...lovely for a 12 year old...So DH is fed up as well...No matter what he does, he's a bad father...Basically he's only a good father when it comes time for her to ask for more money...but other than that, if he wants to correct his child or have any say in her life, he's worthless as far as BM is concerned...With that said, DH has pretty much given up too. We have a son to take care of who has some special needs and we have had to put him to the side for too long to deal with the crazy BM and SD...and we'll no longer do that. I too worry that SD will get in trouble or gangs or something else and they'll come after DH...

I will love to find out if anyone says this is a good idea...hmmm

Anonymous's picture

And so did we. We started our own family, and quite frankly my dh put me and our children first and foremost. Bm had custody, so he was in a bad environment and around her, and her awful family. While my dh acknowledged his mistake of getting with her, we weren't going to sacrifice everything because of that. At that age theres nothing you can do, its pretty much set in stone.

My opinion is let her have the child 24/7, and make them both happy and you.

Candice's picture

Thanks ladies for your comments, I reallly appreciate them!

I did end up calling our attorney to see if we could petition to modify custody so that bm has sole custody and if that would mean she is solely responsible for any destruction he causes, and the answer is no. Both parents remain liable for the childs' actions until he reaches the age of 18.

I'm so frustrated by the whole system and how they fail children in real need, yet punish parents who discipline and actually attempt to raise children to be productive members of society. BM has always undermind dh, and now that we have cut ties with her, she is putting truly harsh toxic thoughts into the head of her own 13 year old son. He is running around telling everyone that his father abandoned him..blah..blah...blah. Nothing is ever bm's fault. She didn't burn any bridges, she didn't screw up any arrangement, she didn't disrespect others, she didn't raise ss to be so rude and difficult to be around...nothing is ever her fault.

I don't feel guilty about my dh not exercising his parental rights with his oldest son, we have tried for the last 10 years to constantly be there for him, we have turned over every rock to find/do what is best for him, and quite frankly, we are so tired of her constant train wrecks, and then never being good enough for ss. We were the stable parents, she is the slow moving train wreck, and in ss's eyes, we were the bad people, and she could never do any wrong. I know he should love his mother, but why can't he see what's going on and appreciate us even slightly?

I am very proud of my dh and his decision to cut his loses with ss. I hate the idea of us not doing anything for him, but bm and her toxic negative lifestyle contaminates everyone, even my son. Since the departure, we have really begun to enjoy our lives, and really experience what peace is. It's really nice.

anncanbike's picture

Ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure.

What i mean is: he may not be there now but later when he's unmanageable he'll want to come to you all. . .