Parents risk legal trouble for kicking kid out of home
Question: One of my daughter’s friend’s parents are kicking her out of the house as of this summer. The girl is 16, just finishing her sophomore year of high school. She’s talking about moving in with either another friend or her boyfriend.
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Question: One of my daughter’s friend’s parents are kicking her out of the house as of this summer. The girl is 16, just finishing her sophomore year of high school. She’s talking about moving in with either another friend or her boyfriend. It’s been four years since this girl and my daughter were classmates, but I’m still concerned for her. It’s not like there was any sign of neglect in the past. She’s been sent to a well-known, expensive private school on Oahu, has had numerous private dance classes since she was little and has gone on international trips through her school. I suspect that her parents don’t approve of the boyfriend. The parents also recently had another baby, making three kids in their home. Is it legal for a parent to kick a minor out of the house? I thought parents were responsible for their children until the age of 18.
Answer: We asked the Honolulu Police Department, but a spokeswoman said to check with an attorney. So we turned to the Hawaii State Bar Association, seeking lawyers who specialize in family law. Tom S. Tanimoto of the Honolulu firm Coates & Frey agreed to share his insight, noting that his response was for information only, not to be considered legal advice:
“Parents are essentially required to do their best in terms of providing for the support, discipline and education of their children. Chapter 577 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes covers this point and as such, it would not be incorrect to say that parents are responsible (despite the word being so broad and general in scope) for their minor children.
“So given the above, it is a fair point that it would not be legal, much less appropriate, for parents to kick a minor child out of the home.
“By way of some background, the law sets the age of majority (more commonly referred to as adulthood) at under or less than 18 years of age and because of that, a minor cannot do many things without parental consent, such as getting a job or signing a contract. As a result, minors, for the most part, simply lack the financial resources and legal status (as well as life experience) to make it on their own.
“Even if we were to assume that a minor child (who was kicked out of the home) was provided with life’s necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter, that would still not address the possible adverse repercussions that can arise from a resulting lack of parental discipline and supervision, including on a most basic level, making sure that the child goes to school, does his/her homework and understands the difference between what’s right and wrong.
“On a side note, let’s also remember that parents can potentially be held responsible for a minor child’s misdeeds.
“So it would seem that support, discipline and education all play an interconnected role in the upbringing of a child, with no factor necessarily being more important than the others.
“Kicking a minor child out of the home can throw all of the above points into chaos, which could affect the well-being and welfare of a child, thus possibly implicating legal issues such as neglect and/or abandonment. Instead of resorting to an extreme measure such as kicking a child out of the home, counseling and consultation with a professional should always be considered.”
E kala mai
I would like to apologize to all the patrons watching “Deadpool 2” while I was coughing up a storm. I should have simply left the theater, but the movie was so good and I thought I would stop coughing; I ended up coughing throughout the movie. I promise never to do this again. Next time I’ll bring an asthma inhaler with me and simply leave if the inhaler doesn’t work. — D.H.
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