Arizona Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Owens and Perkins, P.C.

Parenting isn’t easy. Especially these days. Peer pressure, gangs, drugs, school violence… a parent has an endless array of worries to keep them awake at night. Even disciplining your child can be a slippery slope that must be tread carefully. But sometimes, no matter how hard you work to see that your child acts appropriately when out of your presence, sometimes, kids get in trouble. What happens if your son or daughter does something that sparks the involvement of the police? If your child is under 18 years of age, you shouldn’t just be concerned about what will happen to your child; you need to be aware of what might happen to you, but most importantly, what your parental rights in Arizona include!

Most states have what is called a Parent Responsibility Act. ( See Arizona Revised Statutes §12-661 ). In Arizona, both parents (whether married or not) or the minor’s legal guardian can be held civilly liable for any “malicious or willful misconduct” of the minor child. Simply stated, “malicious or willful” means the child knew they were doing something wrong and did it anyway. This can include shoplifting, assault, possessing or selling drugs or breaking and entering, among other crimes.

Civil parental financial responsibility is capped at $10,000 for each wrongful act committed by each minor child, as stated by your parental rights in Arizona, and most insurance companies will likely not pay claims caused by an intentional act. As an example, if your child were to be charged with trespassing andburglary, you could be fined up to $20,000! If more than one of your children is involved, you liability doubles, according to your parental rights. In Arizona, the Courts may also require parents or legal guardians to participate in court mandated counseling and/or other treatment programs if their minor children get in trouble with the authorities. The minor will face their own consequences and may be required to pay additional fines

If your child has been accused of a crime, from misdemeanor to felony, you need to be aware of your parental rights in Arizona that impact you as well as your child. Now is not the time to take matters into your own hands. You need experienced, aggressive representation to protect you.


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