Diacritical Musk and Grimes Baby

Bar Code

The great thing about family law is that there is always something new to learn.

This week I learned the word “Diacritical.” Probably because I was never much for learning languages.

Diacritical is defined in Wikipedia as “A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek διακριτικός (diakritikós, "distinguishing"), from διακρίνω (diakrī́nō, "to distinguish"). Diacritic is primarily an adjective, though sometimes used as a noun, whereas diacritical is only ever an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ), are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters.” Many languages have diacritical words and names.

I have Elon Musk and Grimes to thank for reportedly naming their new baby “X Æ A-12” for learning the word Diacritical. But can he do that?

Since the baby was born in California, we look at what California will do. California’s naming laws are fairly relaxed compared to some countries. For example, Sweden has strict naming laws and baby names such “Metallica” and “IKEA” have not been allowed. My favorite is a couple in New Zealand who were prohibited from naming their twins Fish and Chips.  

California’s Office of Vital Records will only record “the 26 alphabetical characters of the English language with appropriate punctuation if necessary.” The Office explicitly prohibits “pictographs, ideograms, [or] diacritical marks” (including “ ´e,” “ ˜n,” and “¸c”).  

In 2014 California rejected a bill changing the ban on diacritical marks as names due to its high cost.  Therefore it is likely that Musk and Grimes (which itself sounds a bit like laddish aftershave that Guy Richie might wear) fill out the name “X Æ A-12” on the baby’s birth certificate at the hospital, it will most likely be rejected by the California Office of Vital Records because it contains diacritical marks.

The couple could sue and argue that parents have a constitutional unfettered right to name their children. Several Federal cases have struck down state laws naming rights based on substantive due process rights. The Supreme Court in the “Troxel” case which recognized the right of grandparent visitation, held that the “the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of their children.” Justice O’Connor stated, “is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.” An argument of this kind might be used if Musk were to challenge any decision by the California Office of Vital Records not to allow “X Æ A-12.”


In 2020 California enacted a new law amending Family Code 7574 https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/family-code/fam-sect-7574.html that allows couples who use assisted reproduction to have a child to complete a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage form at the hospital or at any time after the child’s birth in front of a notary. This has the effect of a Judgment of parentage. It means that two people who sign it are to be recognized as the child’s parents in all states. Previously only an unmarried mother and the biological father could sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. Under federal law the Declaration is the equivalent of a court order and secures important protections for the right to social security benefits, military benefits, inheritance rights, health insurance and survivor benefits from both parents. It is therefore advisable for same sex couples to sign a Declaration (even if they are legally married in California) because many states do not recognize parentage by marriage and only recognize biological parents as legal parents. California couples who have used donor sperm or eggs are could be at risk if they move to one of those states. https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-parentage.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en

Air Talk Discussion on NPR: Platonic Co-Parenting: A Helping Hand With Your Biological Clock

Co-parenting sites like Modamily and PollenTree offer matching services where users can find potential parental partners.

According to the Wall Street Journal, co-parenting sites, such as Modamily and PollenTree, offer matching services where users can find potential parental partners to raise a child with. Users are encouraged to vet and become extensively acquainted with one another to find a partner (or more than one) who is equally committed to raising a child without necessarily the expectation of romantic love or sex. The co-parenting trend and the nascent industry around it is largely made up of professionals who thought they might be ready for children by their early 30’s, but kept pushing that plan back, says Modamily founder Ivan Fatovic. LGBTQ and straight adults approaching 40 years old who still want to be parents, but need a hand with child rearing and don’t want to risk putting a child through divorce, are turning to this idea to start families, Fatovic says.NPR Link

Fresh Air 'Boys & Sex' Reveals That Young Men Feel 'Cut Off From Their Hearts'

Author Peggy Orenstein knows that talking to your son about sex isn't easy: "I know for a lot of parents, you would rather poke yourself in the eye with a fork than speak directly to your son about sex — and probably he would rather poke himself in the eye with a fork as well," she says.

But we don't have "the luxury" to continue avoiding this conversation, she says. "If we don't talk to our kids, the media is going to educate them for us, and we are not going to love the result."

Orenstein spent 25 years chronicling the lives of adolescent and teen girls and never really expected to focus on boys. But then came the #MeToo movement, and Orenstein, whose previous books include Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter, decided it was time to engage young men in conversations about gender and intimacy.

Her new book, Boys & Sex, is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys and young men of diverse backgrounds between the ages of 16 and 22.

Close up low section of two girls sitting side by sidehttps://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/29/472211301/girls-sex-and-the-importance-of-talking-to-young-women-about-pleasure

New York Times: In Interrogations, Teenagers Are Too Young to Know Better

Read article: New York Times By Jan Hoffman

In Interrogations, Teenagers Are Too Young to Know Better

October 13, 2014 4:49 pmOctober 13, 2014 4:49 pm
Credit Brian Stauffer

Even when police interrogators left the room, cameras kept recording the teenage suspects. Some paced. Several curled up and slept. One sobbed loudly, hitting his head against the wall, berating himself. Two boys, left alone together, discussed their offense, joking.

What none did, however, was exercise his constitutional rights. It was not clear whether the youths even understood them.

Therefore none had a lawyer at his side. None left, though all were free to do so, and none remained silent. Some 37 percent made full confessions, and 31 percent made incriminating statements.

These were among the observations in a recent study of 57 videotaped interrogations of teenagers, ages 13 to 17, from 17 police departments around the country. The research, published in Law and Human Behavior, adds to accumulating evidence that teenagers are psychologically vulnerable at the gateway to the criminal justice system. Youths, some researchers say, merit special protections.

According to federal statistics, nearly 1.5 million teenagers were arrested in 2011, the last year for which data was collected.

“If kids are making these poor decisions because their development is not complete, then to penalize them with long-term legal consequences is unfair,” said the study’s author, Hayley M.D. Cleary, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescents and the law.

Research about adolescents during interrogations is usually drawn from laboratory experiments, surveys or court records. Only a few researchers have had access to actual encounters, typically from one state. Dr. Cleary’s study is the first to examine interrogations from a variety of jurisdictions. The sample, however, is small and limited to agencies that willingly provided videos.


One reason the researchers focused on interrogations is that jurors find confessions highly persuasive. But the validity of a juvenile’s confession can be questionable. Was it given voluntarily, with the teenager really grasping the consequences of admitting the crime? Was it true?

Teenagers, studies show, are not developmentally ready to make critical decisions that have long-term impacts.

“Adolescents are more oriented to the present, so they are less likely than adults to be thinking about the future consequences of what they’re saying,” said Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University who writes about teenagers in the justice system and was not involved in this study.

Teenagers, he added, are also less likely than adults to know that the police can lie during interrogations.

“The police often promise kids things in the present. ‘If you just tell me you did it, you can go see your mom,’ ” he continued. “And because the brain’s reward systems are hypersensitive during adolescence, that immediate reward of confessing will trump the thinking of, ‘What will happen when I come back to court in a month?’ ”

Moreover, research shows that teenagers aged 15 and younger will unwittingly comply with authority figures. They are very suggestible, so that during an interrogation, they are more likely than adults to change their answers in response to interviewers.

In Dr. Cleary’s study, the average age of the juveniles, almost all boys, was about 15. In nearly every interview, the door was shut to the interrogation room, with the suspect sitting in a corner and the interrogator between the youth and the door.

In half the cases, the interrogator had a visible weapon. In 16 percent, the suspects were handcuffed or in leg shackles.

The interrogations were frequently interrupted, with other interviewers coming and going. The teenager often was left alone. One interrogator came and went 19 times.

Dr. Cleary speculated that interruptions could heighten a suspect’s anxiety but they could also afford him mental breaks.

A significant concern about interrogations of juveniles has been their limited capacity to comprehend rights such as the Miranda warnings.

Dr. Steinberg once asked a 12-year-old about the right to remain silent. In his new book, “Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence,” he recounts how the boy, who recognized the Miranda warnings from watching “Law & Order,” replied: “It means that you don’t have to say anything until the police officer asks you a question.” Some jurisdictions require that parents be present for interrogations of teenagers. In Dr. Cleary’s study, only 12 suspects were accompanied by parents during portions of the interviews, whose duration ranged from six minutes to five hours, with the average about 45 minutes.

But if parents are not legally savvy, their presence may not serve young suspects well.

In the videos, five parents remained largely silent. Some lectured their children and then questioned them, taking on the interrogator’s role. A few parents urged their children to come clean, inadvertently sealing their fate.

Parents have conflicting roles, Dr. Cleary said. “They want to defend their children against accusations of wrongdoing. But we also socialize children to obey the law and tell the truth.

“Some parents might have felt compelled to use the situation as a teachable moment, or they might have felt their parenting skills were being threatened.” Dr. Cleary said. “It’s not fair to put parents in that situation, particularly without a lawyer.”But how do parents balance encouraging children to respect authority against the harm that can befall them by speaking with interrogators?

Dr. Steinberg suggests that parents tell teenagers: “If you’re being questioned by police because they think you’ve done something bad, say you need to talk to your parents first.” Parents can decide whether to call a lawyer.

Citing recent research, the American Psychological Association has called for widespread protections for suspects, including teenagers, during interrogations. The recommendations include limiting the length of interviews; videotaping them in their entirety; assuring that teenagers are always accompanied by a lawyer; and that interviewers be trained to reduce the risk of eliciting false confessions from impressionable suspects such as youths.

This spring, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a law enforcement coalition, along with the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, developed online training for those who interview adolescents. Drawing from developmental research, the program instructs officers to explain Miranda warnings in language teenagers will understand and not to make false promises of leniency, because of youths’ proclivity toward gullibility.

“We want to avoid involuntary or false confessions from juveniles,” said John Firman, director of research for the association. “The ultimate goal is to get accurate information from them. And if you don’t understand juvenile brain development, the likelihood is that you’ll get bad information.”


Los Angeles Divorce and Custody

Global Parenting Habits That Haven't Caught On In The U.S.

NPR: by Emily Lodish



Children play outside at a day care center in Norway. Kids play outdoors, and take naps, even when it's extremely cold.i         i

            Children play outside at a day care center in Norway. Kids play outdoors, and take naps, even when it's extremely cold.  Children play outside at a day care center in Norway. Kids play outdoors, and take naps, even when it's extremely cold.

Children play outside at a day care center in Norway. Kids play outdoors, and take naps, even when it's extremely cold.

         If there's one thing Tiger Mothers have in common with those bringing up Bébé, it's that they both show us just how varied parenting styles can be.

Argentine parents let their kids stay up until all hours; Japanese parents let 7-year-olds ride the subway by themselves; and Danish parents leave their kids sleeping in a stroller on the curb while they go inside to shop or eat.

Some global parenting styles might make American parents cringe, but others sure could use a close study. Vietnamese mothers, for instance, get their kids out of diapers by 9 months.

Read on for a sampling of parenting lessons from around the world:

1. In Norway, kids nap outside even in subzero temperatures

In Norway, childhood is very institutionalized. When a kid turns 1 year old, he or she starts going to Barnehage (Norwegian for "children's garden"), which is basically state-subsidized day care.

Parents pay a few hundred dollars a month and their kids are taken care of from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Toddlers spend a ton of time outside at Barnehage, even in extremely cold temperatures. It's not uncommon to see kids bundled up outside during a Scandinavian winter, taking a nap in their strollers.

Even with the obvious benefits provided by the government in Norway, some parents complain about the lack of creativity in people's approaches to parenting.

One American mother adjusting to raising kids in Norway wrote:

"There's a sense that there's just one right way to do things. And everyone does it that way. In America there are different parenting styles — co-sleeping, attachment parenting, etc. Here there is just one way, more or less: all kids go to bed at 7, all attend the same style of preschool, all wear boots, all eat the same lunch ... that's the Norwegian way."

2. Vietnamese parents potty-train their babies by 9 months

Here's a good one. In Vietnam, mom and dads teach their babies to pee at the sound of a whistle. Kind of like Pavlov with his salivating dogs. Except this is moms and dads with peeing babies. The Chinese do it too, apparently. Parents start by noticing when their baby starts peeing and making a little whistle sound. Soon enough, the baby starts to associate the whistle with peeing and voila!

Think this sounds a little odd? Or a little like someone is conflating a kid with a pet schnauzer? Well, researchers say Vietnamese babies are usually out of diapers by 9 months. What do you think now?

3. Traditionally, Kisii people in Kenya avoid looking their babies in the eye

Kisii, or Gussii, moms in Kenya carry their babies everywhere, but they don't indulge a baby's cooing. Rather, when their babies start babbling, moms avert their eyes.

It's likely to sound harsh to a Western sensibility, but within the context of Kisii culture, it makes more sense. Eye contact is an act bestowed with a lot of power. It's like saying, "You're in charge," which isn't the message parents want to send their kids. Researchers say Kisii kids are less attention-seeking as a result.

Babies in their strollers are parked outside a cafe in Copenhagen, a common sight in Denmark.

            Babies in their strollers are parked outside a cafe in Copenhagen, a common sight in Denmark.                                                                      

4. Danish parents leave their kids on the curb while they go shopping

In Denmark, writes Mei-Ling Hopgood in How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm, "children are frequently left outside to get frisk luft, or fresh air — something parents think is essential for health and hearty development — while caregivers dine and shop."

As you might imagine, this idea sends shivers down the spines of many parents in the United States. In New York, a couple (one of whom was Danish) was arrested for leaving their child outside a BBQ restaurant while they went inside to eat.

"I was just in Denmark and that's exactly what they do," Mariom Adler, a New Yorker out walking with her 2-year-old son, told the New York Times. "We would see babies all over unattended. We were stunned, frankly. But Denmark also struck us as exceptionally civilized."

5. In the Polynesian Islands, children take care of children

We're not talking any old big brother baby-sitting little sister here. We're talking organized kid collective.

Hopgood writes in her book that adults take the lead in caring for babies in Polynesia, but as soon as a child can walk, he or she is turned over to the care of other children.

"Preschool-aged children learned to calm babies," she wrote, "and toddlers became self-reliant because they were taught that that was the only way they could hang out with the big kids."

Jane and James Ritchie, a husband-and-wife anthropology team, observed a similar phenomenon over decades in New Zealand and the Polynesian Islands. But they don't think it would fly in the United States.

"Indeed in Western societies, the degree of child caretaking that seems to apply in most of Polynesia would probably be regarded as child neglect and viewed with some horror," they wrote in Growing Up in Polynesia.

A child waits for the subway to arrive in Tokyo. Kids under 10 are often allowed to take the train by themselves.i         i

            A child waits for the subway to arrive in Tokyo. Kids under 10 are often allowed to take the train by themselves.                                                                     estudiante/Flickr                                                       

A child waits for the subway to arrive in Tokyo. Kids under 10 are often allowed to take the train by themselves.

A child waits for the subway to arrive in Tokyo. Kids under 10 are often allowed to take the train by themselves.

6. Japanese parents let their kids go out by themselves

Parents in Japan allow their kids a lot of independence after a certain age. It isn't uncommon for 7-year-olds and even 4-year-olds to ride the subway by themselves.

Christine Gross-Loh, author of Parenting Without Borders, lives in Japan for part of each year, and when she's there she lets her kids run errands without her, taking the subway and wandering around town as they may. But she wouldn't dare do the same back in the United States.

"If I let them out on their own like that in the U.S., I wouldn't just get strange looks," she told TED. "Somebody would call Child Protective Services."

7. Spanish kids stay up late!

Spanish families are focused on the social and interpersonal aspects of child development, according to Sara Harkness, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut.

The idea of a child going to bed at 6:30 p.m. is totally alien to Spanish parents, Harkness told TED.

"They were horrified at the concept," she said. "Their kids were going to bed at 10 p.m." so they could participate in family life in the evenings. The same is true in Argentina, according to Hopgood.

8. Aka pygmy fathers win the award

For the Aka people in central Africa, the male and female roles are virtually interchangeable. While the women hunt, the men mind the children. And vice versa.

Therein lies the rub, according to professor Barry Hewlett, an American anthropologist. "There's a level of flexibility that's virtually unknown in our society," Hewlett told The Guardian. "Aka fathers will slip into roles usually occupied by mothers without a second thought and without, more importantly, any loss of status — there's no stigma involved in the different jobs."

This flexibility, apparently, extends to men suckling their children. Ever wonder why men have nipples? That's why.

A child eats vegetable soup in Lyon, France. Many French parents expect their kids to eat sophisticated adult dishes at a young age.i         i

            A child eats vegetable soup in Lyon, France. Many French parents expect their kids to eat sophisticated adult dishes at a young age.                             A child eats vegetable soup in Lyon, France. Many French parents expect their kids to eat sophisticated adult dishes at a young age.

A child eats vegetable soup in Lyon, France. Many French parents expect their kids to eat sophisticated adult dishes at a young age.

9. French kids eat everything

Set mealtimes; no snacking whatsoever; the expectation that if you try something enough times, you'll like it. These are among the "food rules" in France that are taken as given. The result is French kids who eat what adults eat, from foie gras to stinky cheese. Tell that to my nephew.

Editor's note on Aug. 26: GlobalPost is one of several news outlets that provide content to NPR.org. While producing this story, GlobalPost neglected to give credit to Cracked.com for its earlier reporting and included a subhead — "Vietnamese moms train their babies to pee on command" — that was identical to a line written by Cracked.com. That subhead has been rewritten.

Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer

Mom Sues Preschool For Damaging Her 4-year-old's Ivy League Chances

NYDailyNews.com reports that-

A Manhattan mom is suing a pricey preschool for dumping her "very smart" 4-year-old with tykes half her age and boring her with lessons about shapes and colors.

In court papers, Nicole Imprescia suggests York Avenue Preschool jeopardized little Lucia's chances of getting into an elite private school or, one day, the Ivy League.

She's demanding a refund of the $19,000 tuition and class-action status for other toddlers who weren't properly prepped for the standardized test that can mean the difference between Dalton and - gasp! - public school.  Read the article.

Divorce and Money

Los Angeles Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers|Attorneys Los Angeles, Beverly Hills

California Prenuptial, Prenups

Japan Joins International Child Custody Pact

In response to international concern over Japan becoming a haven for child abductions, Japan has approved plans to join the International Child Custody Pact.  Read this article on Huffingtonpost.com -

TOKYO — Japan's Cabinet approved a plan to join a global child custody treaty Friday, amid foreign pressure on Tokyo to revise policies some say allow Japanese mothers to too easily take their children away from foreign fathers.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Cabinet endorsed the move, which would spur changes in Japanese laws to bring them in line with the 1980 Hague Convention on international abduction, said Yusuke Asakura, an official at the Cabinet Office.

Japan is the only Group of Seven nation that hasn't signed the Hague pact. Asakura said the Cabinet plan must be approved by parliament for it to take effect, and it could face resistance there.

The United States, Britain, France and other countries have repeatedly urged Japan to join the convention.  See the rest of the article.

Divorce and Money

Los Angeles Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers|Attorneys Los Angeles, Beverly Hills

California Prenuptial, Prenups


Thank you to the State Bar of California hich produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

Criminal law and crimes represent those acts, behaviors or attitudes that society believes are wrong and wishes to discourage. When a minor or adult violates a criminal law, it is the state, on behalf of society, that files a lawsuit. County prosecutors are the state’s designated representatives and have the discretion to choose which violations of criminal law are most important to prosecute or punish. When the state prosecutes someone for breaking a criminal law, the wrongdoer could face a fine, be locked up in a county jail or sent to state prison. In a civil case, you may have to pay a fine if you lose, but you will not be sent to jail.

In California, most of the laws defining criminal conduct can be found in the California Penal Code, but criminal acts are defined in other areas of the law as well. City and county ordinances also are considered part of criminal law and include, for example, curfew laws, laws against smoking and laws requiring smoke detectors or fire escapes.

Criminal offenses are divided into three categories: felonies, misdemeanors and infractions. (PC § 16) A felony is the most serious type of crime and is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment in a state prison, ora death sentence. A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment in a county jail for no more than one year in most cases. Infractions usually do not involve any jail time, but the defendant must appear in court and/or pay a fine. If charged with an infraction, you are not entitled to a jury trial or an attorney at state expense. Most traffic violations are infractions. Finally, some crimes are punishable either as misdemeanors or felonies. These crimes are called wobblers and are considered felonies until the judgment is imposed.

MYTH : Some parents believe that children who are under a certain age cannot be convicted of a criminal act. But while a child’s age and experience do impact a court’s determination as to whether the child understands that his or her actions were wrong, there is no magic age at which a child cannot be found guilty of a crime. (PC § 26) If the state seeks to prosecute a child under the age of 14 in California, however, attorneys must establish clear proof that the child knew that his or her act was wrong at the time. For more information about how criminal laws relate to kids, see Juvenile Court.

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of California which produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

In general, legal actions are divided into two categories: civil and criminal. Civil actions are lawsuits (often between private individuals or businesses) in which someone sues someone else for monetary damages (money) or something else to compensate or offer protection for a wrong that was committed. When a civil case has to do with an injured child, parents are often involved.

Minors can, however, enforce their own legal rights in a civil case as long as they do so through a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is a responsible adult appointed by a court to pursue a case in a child’s name and to work to protect and defend the child’s rights. In many instances, the court-appointed guardian is the child’s parent. Along with the power to sue, children can be sued, often through their court-appointed guardian ad litem. (FC §§ 6600, 6601)

Are there any deadlines for filing lawsuits?

Yes. When filing lawsuits, adults and children alike must abide by statutes of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on the filing of particular lawsuits. These time limitations vary according to the type of action involved but are relatively standard for the following cases:

Personal injury—two years from the time of the injury. (CCP § 335.1)

Breach of contract—four years from the day the contract was broken, or two years if the contract was never in writing. (CCP §§ 337, 339)

Damages to real or personal property—three years from the date the damage occurred. (CCP § 338(b)(c))

In addition, California as some other important laws relating to civil actions brought by minors. First, if a child is injured before or at the time of birth, the lawsuit (other than medical malpractice suits) must be filed within six years of the birth. (CCP § 340.4) A minor’s medical malpractice suit must be initiated within three years, or one year after the parents discovered (or should have discovered) the injury unless he or she is under 6 years old. If the child is under age 6, the suit must be initiated within three years or prior to the child’s eighth birthday, whichever period is longer. (CCP § 340.5) Lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse generally can be brought until the person is 26 years old or until three years have passed since the person discovered (or could have reasonably discovered) that his or her injuries were related to sexual abuse, whichever period is longer. (CCP § 340.1)

In most cases, however, the statute of limitations clock starts when the child reaches 18. This means, for example, that a 12-year-old boy injured in a traffic collision could wait until two years after his 18th birthday to begin an action. (CCP § 352)

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of California hich produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

By one estimate, some 870,000 children are abused or neglected nationwide each year. Roughly 1,500 a year die at the hands of their abusers. And most of the victims are under age 4. But child abuse victims can be any age, come from any ethnic background and be born into poverty or into wealth. Such victims do not fit into a particular profile.

It is against the law for anyone to abuse a child—physically, sexually (see Sex and Kids) or emotionally—or to endanger any child by putting the youngster in harm’s way. Nor is it legal to intentionally neglect a child who is in your care—to fail to adequately feed, clothe or supervise the child or to supply medical care. (PC §§ 270 et seq, 11164-11165.6)

Those who break these laws, depending on the circumstances, could face years in prison as a consequence. In addition, if one parent fails to protect his or her child from another parent or partner who is abusive, he or she could be found criminally liable as well.

What should I do if I suspect a child is being abused or neglected?

Call your local Child Protective Services hotline (every county has one) or contact the local police. The youngster could be at great risk. And unless it can be proven that you knowingly filed a false report, you cannot be held liable if you are wrong. 

Will the alleged abuser find out that I filed a report?

It depends. You can remain anonymous unless you are a mandated reporter.

What is a mandated reporter?

Because abused and neglected children are at such great risk, individuals in certain professions are required by law to report suspected abuse. The list of so-called mandated reporters generally includes teachers, school personnel, doctors, nurses, police officers and firefighters, as well as certain other professionals who regularly come in contact with youngsters. Mandated reporters must notify authorities immediately and file a written report as well within 36 hours. (PC §§ 11165.7 - 11174.3)

What is “Shaken Baby Syndrome”?

It is a life-threatening condition that can develop when someone shakes a baby. The sudden shaking motion slams the youngster’s brain into his or her skull. One in four children die as a consequence. The resulting trauma can also lead to permanent brain damage, blindness or severe motor dysfunction. It can happen when a frustrated parent or caregiver simply shakes a child to stop a bout of crying. And babies are not the only ones at risk; severe shaking can cause head trauma in children up to age 5. Pending legislation proposed in 2007 would make it specifically illegal for anyone to shake a child under age 3. Experts suggest that overstressed parents or caregivers seek help. Parents, concerned adults and children alike can visit www.childhelp.org or call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453) for help.

California law does not specify any particular age. Every situation—and every child—is different. It could depend on various factors: the child’s level of maturity and judgment, the time of day, the safety of the neighborhood and the proximity of another responsible adult who could be available in an emergency. The legal question would be whether or not the child would be put at risk if he or she were left alone—whether you could be endangering or neglecting the child.

There are, however, other situations in which it is against the law to leave a child of a certain age alone. For example, in certain circumstances, children under 7 cannot be left alone in a car (see Laws that Young Drivers Should Know on the previous page).

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of California which produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

Your children talk to their friends via the Internet. They play games, research school papers and learn aboutthe world in cyberspace. Many youngsters use a computer or the Internet every day for all kinds of reasons—and that use is likely to grow. One national study found that two out of three preschoolers now use computers and one in four has already visited the Internet.     

But while surfing the Internet may open many doors, it can put your children at risk as well. A recent survey found that one in three children (ages 10 to 17) had been exposed to unwanted sexual material online. One in seven had received a sexual other end of their online chats, and their personal information could be misused if they’re not careful. Also, if they download certain material, your children could be breaking the law—and you, as the parent, could be liable.

 Is it ever illegal for an adult stranger to contact my child online?

 Yes. It is against the law for adults to send sexually explicit or obscene material to minors. It is also against the law for an adult with sexual motives to seek to seduce a child online or to arrange an in-person meeting with the child—even if the adult fails to show up. Just setting up such a meeting is a misdemeanor that could lead to a year in jail. And if the meeting does take place, the adult could face four years in state prison for online enticement. (PC §§ 272, 288.3; 18 USC § 2422(b))

 What should I do if my child is solicited or sent obscene material online?

 Contact the 24-hour CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678 or at www.cybertipline.com. Bylaw, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must report any child sexual exploitation or child pornography to the federally mandated tipline.


 Teens use this shorthand in e-mails and instant messages. Do you know what it means?

121 - one to one 143 - I love you A/S/L? - age, sex, location BCNU - I’ll be seeing you BF - boyfriend B/W/O - black, white, other CUL8ER - see you later DGT - don’t go there DIKU - Do I know you? EMA - what is your E-mail address? F2F - face to face FAWC - for anyone who cares. GGOH - Got to get out of here IMS - I am sorry IPN - I’m posting naked LMIRL - Let’s meet in real life. LOL - laughing out loud P911 - My parents are coming! PIR - parent in room WYRN - What’s your real name?

For a more complete list, go to www.cybertipline.com (then click on HDOP and online lingo)Source: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 

Sexual Predators and the Computer

 Minimize the chances of an online exploiter victimizing your child:

  •  Communicate and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential online danger.
  • Spend time with your children online.
  • Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child’s bedroom.
  • Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software. While electronic chat can be a great place for children to make new friends and discuss various topics of interest, it is also prowled by computer-sex offenders.
  • Always maintain access to your child’s online account and randomly check his or her e-mail.
  • Teach your child the responsible use of online resources.
  • Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child’s school, the public library and at the homes of your child’s friends.
  • Understand, even if your child was a willing participant in any form of sexual exploitation, that he or she is not at fault and is the victim.

 Instruct your children:

 To never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online.   To never upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet or online service to people they do not personally know.   To never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name or telephone number.   To never download pictures from an unknown source.   To never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent or harassing.   That whatever they are told online may or may not be true.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation Innocent Images National Initiative

 Tips for Teens who Socialize Online:

 WHAT TO TYPE: Be smart. If you don’t use privacy settings, anyone has access to your blog or profile, not just people you know.


 ● Post your cell phone number, address or the name of your school.

● Post your friends’ names, ages, phone numbers, school names or addresses.

  Add people as friends to your site unless you know them in person.

  Communicate with people you don’t know.

 Give out your password to anyone other than your parent or guardian.

  Meet in person with anyone you first “met” on a social networking site.

  Respond to harassing or rude comments posted on your profile.

  Make or post plans and activities on your site.

  Post photos with school names, locations, license plates or signs.

  Post photos with the name of your sports team.

  Post sexually provocative photos.

  Respond to threatening or negative e-mails or IMs.


 ● Check the privacy settings of the social networking sites that you use.

● Set privacy settings so that people can only be added as your friend if you approve them.

● Set privacy settings so that people can only view your profile if you have approved them as a friend.

● Remember that posting information about your friends could put them at risk.

● Consider going through your blog and profile and removing information that could put you at risk.

● Delete any unwanted messages or friends who continuously leave inappropriate comments.

● Report comments to the networking site if they violate that site’s terms of service.

● Save or print questionable activity and include date and time.

● Tell your parents or guardian if anything happens that makes you feel scared, uncomfortable or confused.

Source: www.2SMRT4U.com (2SMRT4U campaign sponsored by The

National Center For Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S.Postal Inspection Service.)

This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of California hich produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

Many youngsters are eager to know when they can get a driver’s license. In California, they must be at least 16 years old to be eligible for a provisional driver’s license. (VC § 12814.6) And there are special restrictions and requirements for drivers under 18. But even before a teenager can get a provisional license, he or she must obtain an instruction permit (also called a learner’s permit) from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). (VC § 12509) To get such a permit, the teenager must:

●Be at least 15-1/2 years old but not yet 18.

●Submit an application form and a form showing completion of driver education and enrollment in or completion of driver training or enrollment in an integrated driver education/driver training program. The application form must be signed by the teen’s parents or guardians.

●Give a thumbprint.

●Pass a vision exam.

●Provide his or her Social Security number.

●Verify birth date and legal presence.

●Have his or her picture taken.

●Pay an application fee.

●Pass a written examination on traffic laws and signs.


Once all of these steps have been completed, the DMV will issue your child a learner’s permit. If the minor is over 17-1/2 years of age, he or she can obtain such a permit without the education or training requirements. It is illegal for a permit driver to drive alone. A parent, guardian, spouse or adult (age 25 or older) with a valid license must be in the car at all times and be able to take control of the vehicle if necessary.

 To get a provisional license, your child must:

 ●Be at least 16 years old.

●Finish both driver education and six hours of professional driver training and receive the proper certification. (DMV form DL 388 or OL 237, 238) Or, complete an integrated driver education/training program of 30 hours of instruction and six hours behind the wheel.

●Have a learner’s permit for at least six months.

●Provide a parent’s signature (or other acceptable signature) on his or her learner’s permit stating that all of the driving practices outlined in the Parent-Teen Training Guide have been completed. You can get this booklet at local DMV field offices or by visiting www.dmv.ca.gov(go to More DMV Publications) or by calling 1-800-777-0133(talk to an agent).

●Complete 50 hours of supervised driving with an adult (age 25 or older) who has a valid Californiariver’s license. Ten of the 50 hours must be done at night. The adult must certify the 50 hours of driving practice.

●Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test and a written exam. (The teenager must bring proof of insurance for the car in which the driving test is taken.)

Once your child has a provisional license, he or she can drive alone. However, the law does impose certain restrictions on drivers under the age of 18:

●For the first 12 months, the minor may not drive with anyone under the age of 20 in the car and may not drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a driver who is age 25 or older. In certain circumstances (the minor’s sibling, for example, has no other transportation to and from school), an exception may be made if the minor meets certain criteria. 

●Teenagers under 18 may not be employed as drivers. (VC § 12515) When a minor reaches age 18, the provisional part of the license ends. The license is still valid as a driver’s license until the next period for renewal, which would be the driver’s fifth birthday after initially applying for the provisional license.

Minors over the age of 14 can get a junior permit under certain circumstances, such as when there is inadequate school transportation or transportation due to an illness in the family. Or, such a permit might be allowed if the minor needs it for transportation to and from a job and the minor’s income is essential to the support of his or her family. (VC § 12513) In addition, a student driver’s license may be obtained by a student who is over 15 years old and is taking driver training in a public, parochial or private secondary school with the consent of the school principal and parents. (VC § 12650)

 Liability and auto insurance:

 For parents, children and driving means dealing with additional car insurance. Many parents simply add their child to their own policy, but this can be expensive. In California, minors who get their own policies are required to have the following minimum auto insurance coverage: (VC § 16430)

●$15,000 for the injury or death of one person per accident.

●$30,000 for the injury or death of two or more people per accident (still subject to the $15,000 maximum per person).

●$5,000 for property damage per accident.

 Note:In signing the form for their teenager’s provisional driver’s license, parents (or the sole parent or legal guardian) agree to accept financial responsibility for their child. However, in most cases, parents can’t be held liable for more than the amounts listed above. (VC § 17709)

Keep in mind that such insurance is intended to protect your child from losses as a result of an accident that he or she has caused. Since youthful drivers often get into accidents during their first few years of driving, it might be wise to obtain more than the minimum amount of auto insurance required on a car that will be driven by your child.

In addition, the liability limits do not apply when a parent has negligently entrusted their vehicle to the child. For example, the parents could be found liable if they knew (or should have known) of their child’s poor driving record, past accidents or drinking problem—and still permitted the child to drive his or her own car or a family car. In that case, the parents could be found liable for up to the full amount of damages if the child causes an accident. (VC § 17708)

All drivers must carry liability insurance to insure against injuries the driver causes to someone else or their property while operating any motor vehicle. Evidence of insurance or other mandated financial coverage must be carried in the vehicle at all times. (VC §§ 16020, 16028) A driver could be fined up to $200, plus penalty assessments, for a first offense of driving without proper insurance. (VC § 16029)

 Alcohol and cars:

 In California , it is unlawful for anyone—driver or passenger—to possess an open container of alcohol in an automobile. (VC §§ 23223, 23226) Possession of an open container of alcohol inside a car could lead to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. A minor’s license can be suspended or delayed for a year in such circumstances.

Laws related to driving, alcohol and minors are particularly strict. It is illegal to carry a closed container of alcohol in a vehicle if anyone in the car—driver or passenger—is under 21 unless the person is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult designated by the parent or guardian. If the car’s registered owner (whether he or she is driving or simply a passenger) illegally possesses an alcoholic beverage, the vehicle can be impounded for up to 30 days. An exception to this law would apply if the minor works for a licensee of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Actand is transporting alcohol during normal business hours. (VC § 23224) In addition, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive a vehicle if he or she has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01 percent or more. (VC § 23136) For adults who are 21 or older, the illegal BAC is higher, 0.08 percent or more. (VC § 23152(b))

 What will happen if my teenager is stopped by police for driving under the influence of alcohol?

 The police officer may administer a breath, blood or urine test to determine the driver’s blood-alcohol level. And the driver may not refuse to take this test without facing serious penalties. Those who do not submit to a BAC test could be fined or imprisoned and could have their driver’s license suspended or revoked for a period of one to three years. (VC §§ 13353.1, 23136, 23612)

And even if a breath, blood or urine test is not performed, a young person could still be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). A chemical test is not required for a conviction if the judge or jury concludes that the person under the age of 21 did consume an alcoholic beverage and was driving a vehicle. (VC § 23140)

If your child is convicted of DUI and is under 18, his or her license will be revoked until he or she reaches the age of 18, or for one year, or for even longer if he or she has committed prior offenses. (VC § 13352.3)

In most cases, a minor convicted of DUI also would be required to participate in an alcohol education or community service program. If the individual is over 18, he or she would be required to pay the cost of attending this program; otherwise, the expense would be charged to the minor’s parents. (VC § 23520) If your child fails to complete a court-ordered alcohol education or community service program, a court might revoke or suspend his or her driver’s license. And if the minor does not yet have a license, he or she would be delayed in receiving one. These sanctions would remain in effect until the minor completes the court-ordered program or reaches age 21. (VC § 23502)

Finally, anyone who has a driver’s license suspended or revoked may also have his or her car insurance canceled. And a DUI conviction disqualifies an individual from receiving a “Good Driver Discount” insurance policy for the next 10 years. (IC § 1861.025)

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of California hich produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

Curfew laws restrict the rights of youngsters to be outdoors or in public places during certain hours of the day. Such laws aim to establish a safer community and better protect children from the negative influences that they might encounter while wandering around late at night. Currently, there is no state curfew. But, under state law, cities and counties can enact their own curfew ordinances. And courts in California have generally upheld such laws as long as the local ordinance seeks to discourage “loitering” or “remaining” in certain places after certain hours.

Under such local laws, parents can be charged for the administration and transportation costs of returning a minor to his or her home on a second curfew violation. (W&IC § 625.5) Also, a child who is a frequent or habitual curfew violator may be declared a ward of the court and treated as a status offender. (W&IC § 601(a)) (see Juvenile Court) Most curfew ordinances prohibit minors from being out past 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. Exceptions to such laws do exist, however, allowing kids to legally stay out late if they are:

● Participating in a religious, educational or political activity.

● Running an errand for a parent or guardian.

● Accompanied by a parent, guardian or adult.

● Working or going to or from their place of employment.

● Responding to some type of emergency.

● Returning home from a school, cultural or recreational activity.

 What will happen if my teenager breaks curfew?

He or she could be temporarily detained by police and returned home. State law also gives local police some latitude in their enforcement of such curfew ordinances if the officer believes a youth has a “legitimate reason based on extenuating circumstances” for the violation. (W&IC § 625.5(c))

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of California hich produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

The legal age for drinking alcohol in California , however, is 21. (B&PC §§ 25658, 25659) This means that providing alcoholic beverages to anyone under that age is prohibited. In California , an alcoholic beverage is any beverage that contains at least one-half of 1 percent of alcohol. (B&PC § 23004)

Those under 21 are not even permitted to possess alcohol in public places, including state highways or in and around schools. (B&PC § 25662(a)) Minors also must abide by city and county ordinances that prohibit everyone from consuming alcoholic beverages in public parks or recreation areas. Anyone, adult or minor, who possesses an open container of alcohol in a prohibited area is guilty of an infraction. (B&PC § 25620)

Also, with some exceptions, individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from being in bars or other establishments where liquor is being served. The law makes it illegal to possess false identification or use a fake I.D. to purchase (or attempt to purchase) alcohol or to enter an establishment where alcohol is being served. (B&PC § 25661) While it is legal for those under 21 to be present in a home where adults over 21 are drinking alcohol, it is illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under 21. Parents and others providing the alcohol can be held criminally liable for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

If someone under age 18—or the child’s underage companion—causes a traffic collision after drinking alcohol at home, his or her parent could face a misdemeanor charge, a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The law would apply if the parent permitted the child to consume alcohol or use a controlled substance and then allowed the child to drive (with a blood-alcohol concentration of at least 0.05 percent). (B&PC § 25658.2)

Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is a very serious crime that often requires the payment of a large fine, a mandatory jail sentence and the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, particularly if the young person has been convicted of the same offense in the past. (See Cars, Kids and Traffic Laws.)

 Are there laws that address underage drinking at parties?

Yes. A police officer (who lawfully enters the gathering) can seize alcoholic beverages from anyone under 21 at an unsupervised social gathering. Under Californiaaw, an unsupervised social gathering is a public party or event that is attended by 10 or more people under the age of 21, and is not supervised by a parent or guardian of any of the participants. (B&PC § 25662(b)) The punishment for violating liquor laws varies. The offender may be found guilty of an infraction or a misdemeanor. In addition, young people between the ages of 13 and 21 who violate the law may have their driver’s licenses suspended, revoked or delayed for up to one year for each offense related to the possession, consumption or purchase of alcohol. This is true even if the offense does not involve an automobile. Also, for their first offense, young people may be asked to pay up to $250 in fines or perform community service. A young person convicted of a second or subsequent offense will be fined up to $500 or required to perform more community service. (B&PC §§ 25658, 25662(a); VC § 13202.5)

At least one county also has enacted a Social Host Accountability Ordinance to help curb underage drinking. UnderMarin County’s ordinance, social hosts of any loud or unruly gathering (or the property owners who allowed it to take place) can be fined $750 if any underage guests possess or drink alcohol. After three or more violations, the fine would jump to $2,500. In addition, such hosts would have to pay the costs of responding to the party or breaking it up.

 Can bar operators be held liable for selling alcohol to someone under age 21?

Yes. Laws prohibiting the provision of alcoholic beverages to those under 21 also provide for penalties against bar operators and liquor store owners and their employees. For example, while parents and social hosts generally cannot be sued if a drunken, underage party guest causes someone to be hurt in a traffic collision, bar operators would be liable for civil damages in such situations under certain circumstances. If a bar operator serves alcohol to an underage, obviously intoxicated patron who later causes a car accident, that operator would be civilly liable for the resulting injuries (except for those sustained by the drunken youth). If the intoxicated patron was under 18, the operator could be sued for the patron’s injuries or death as well. (B&PC § 25602.1)

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of


which produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law In a 2006 Californiasurvey, nearly one in two 9th graders reported they had consumed at least one alcoholic drink at some point. Forty percent of the 11th  graders surveyed admitted drinking enough alcohol to become “drunk or sick.” And in a national survey, one in four high school students said they were under age 13 when they drank alcohol for the first time.

The age of majority is a term used by lawyers to describe the time in life after which a person is legally no longer considered a child. In essence, it is an arbitrary time when a child becomes an adult in the eyes of the law. Until fairly recently, the age of majority was set at 21 in most states. Following the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving 18-year-olds the

right to vote in federal elections, most states, including California , lowered their age of majority to 18. (FC § 6502) At the age of majority, teenagers acquire the right to:

●Enter into binding contracts.

●Buy or sell property, including real estate and stock.

●Marry without the written consent of a parent or guardian and a judge.

●Sue or be sued in their own names.

●Compromise, settle or arbitrate a claim.

●Make or revoke a will.

●Inherit property outright.

●Vote in national, state and local elections.

●Consent to all types of medical treatment.

●Join the military without parental consent.


This does not mean that once your child reaches the age of majority, he or she gains all of the rights and privileges available to adults. Some rights and responsibilities may come at an earlier age, while others come later. For example, California resident may be issued a provisional driver’s license at age 16 (see Cars, Kids and Traffic Laws), but may not purchase alcoholic beverages until age 21. What the age of majority has really come to mean is that point when an individual is treated as an adult for most purposes.

Attaining the age of majority, however, also brings with it some losses. These losses generally correlate with the rights that children are given for their own protection—for example, the right to their parents’ support, care and shelter (see Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities), their right to treatment within the juvenile court system (see Juvenile Court), and their protection against exploitation and harmful or dangerous conditions of employment under child labor laws (see Work, Work Permits and Taxes).

Note: An exception to the rule that your child must wait until age 18 to acquire the rights and obligations of an adult would apply if he or she were emancipated. (To understand how this might occur, as well as its legal consequences, see Emancipation.)

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com


Thank you to the State Bar of California which produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

Legally speaking, emancipation is that point in time when parents are no longer responsible for their children, and children no longer have to answer to their parents. (FC §§ 7002, 7120)Once this occurs, parents do not have to give their permission for anything that the minor may wish to do. They also no longer have to provide their child with support or necessities such as food, shelter or medical care. This means that your minor child does not have to be responsible to you and may live wherever he or she wishes to live.In addition, an emancipated minor can make his or her own medical, dental or psychiatric care decisions. An emancipated youth also may, for example, enter into a contract, sue and be sued in his or her own name, make or revoke a will, buy or sell interests in property, and apply for a work permit without parental consent. At the same time, the minor’s parents lose control over his or her earnings. The minor must instead take care of his or her own financial affairs. (FC § 7050) In California, an emancipated minor’s identification card or driver’s license can state his or her emancipated status. (FC § 7140)

MYTH: Some kids believe that they can “divorce” their parents or seek emancipation without their parents’ permission. The truth, however, is that kids cannot unilaterally “divorce” their parents. The emancipation process is very complex and requires, at a minimum, a parent’s consent or acquiescence in order for a court to approve such a process.

In California, emancipation occurs automatically under certain circumstances. For example, as soon as a person turns 18 years of age, he or she legally becomes an adult and is emancipated. (See Age of Majority). When minors get married, they become emancipated from their parents. Emancipation also occurs if a minor is on active duty with the Armed Forces. (FC § 7002(a)(b))

In addition, a minor may become emancipated in California with a petition to the courts. In such instances, the minor (at least 14 years of age) must state that he or she would like to be emancipated and is willing to live separate and apart from his or her parents or guardian. The minor must be able to prove that this decision was made voluntarily and that he or she has parental consent or acquiescence to manage his or her own financial affairs. The minor must explain to the court how much money he or she makes, and how future expenses will be handled, including the cost of rent, clothes, food and entertainment. (FC § 7120)

Before the petition is heard, the minor’s parents, guardian or other person entitled to custody must be notified, unless the minor can show that their address is unknown or that notice cannot be given for some reason. (FC § 7121)

Also, a judge must find that it is in the minor’s best interests to become emancipated. If circumstances change after the emancipation order has been granted, the court has the power to rescind the order and notify the minor’s parents.

Note: Running away from home is not a legitimate way of becoming emancipated. Nor can parents simply abandon their responsibilities by forcing their children out of the home. In such situations, children may acquire the right to determine their place of residence and make certain other decisions without losing their right to parental support. (See Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities.)

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com

Body piercing and tattoos

Thank you to the State Bar of California hich produced the “Kids and the Law” of which this is an extract. For the entire booklet go to: Children’s law

 Your teenager got her lip pierced without your permission? It is against the law to perform a body piercing (this does not include pierced ears) on anyone under age 18—-unless a parent or guardian is present or has sent their notarized written permission. (PC § 652) In addition, it is a misdemeanor to tattoo or even offer to tattoo anyone under age 18. (PC § 653)

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. For more information about divorce and family law in Los Angeles  please visit www.la-familylaw.com