August 12, 2020
As soon as your child has their 18th birthday, they are legally seen as an adult in the state of California.
This change in legal status results in a large shift as to what you can and cannot do as a parent.
We know that losing certain rights and duties towards your child can be quite difficult. For a lot of parents, it might even seem impossible. To help you prepare for the oncoming changes, we have put together this survival guide to help address any concerns you may have.
The California Family Code puts certain rights and duties upon you as a parent. You have to perform these duties in order to secure the safety and well being of your child.
We know you may still think of yourself as your child’s protector or advisor, even after they have turned 18, but unfortunately, your rights and your duties are revoked as soon as your child becomes a legal adult.
When your child turns 18, it is no longer your duty or right to:
You have as much right to obtain medical information of a complete stranger as you do to your own child. Unfortunately, that’s just the way the law works - but there are procedures you can put in place to help you be prepared for the worst.
Roadside accidents are the leading cause of death in young adults. Road traffic accidents are often fatal - but even when they are not, they can lead to serious injuries requiring immediate medical care.
As a parent, it can be terrifying to think of losing your child at such a young age. The thought of not being able to check in on them or have access to their medical information is awful.
This is why it is essential to make sure you have everything prepared for when your child turns 18 to still look after them if they need it.
If you do not have the right legal documents prepared, you will not have any authority in an emergency situation and the medical professionals’ hands will be tied.
It is not a bad idea to do research into what documents need to be filled out in order to secure the well being of your child - but finding ‘do it yourself’ documents or automatic generators online is a mistake.
There are no shortcuts to filling out the right legal documents.
Legal documents need to be legible and have all the correct information filled in, so in the case of a medical emergency you will be fully informed and able to make any important decisions.
Most importantly, the legal documents must be executed - signed - properly to be valid and enforceable. Some documents require witnesses while others must be notarized. A mistake in the execution has the same result as not having any documents at all.
Instead of looking for documents online, enlist the help of an attorney so they can go through everything you might need to know.
Be sure to go through each document needed with your attorney to ensure your child will be protected even when they turn 18.
There are two types of documents you want to have prepared to make sure you can look after your child if anything happens to them.
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of their child passing away. The thought of losing a child is an awful thing to imagine —but you should be prepared with the appropriate documents.
Here are the following documents you should make sure to have organized before your child turns 18:
We also have created a thoughtful College Student Parent Survival Checklist you can download to be more prepared when your child(ren) go away to school.
You can find out more information about the College Student Legal Directives Program and sign up for it here.
The novel coronavirus has added a new level of worry to the lives of parents, especially with a new semester on the horizon and the possibility of your child being on campus. The virus has impacted countless lives across the world and exposing your child to the dangers of the virus can be stressful.
To make sure that you are prepared if your child contracts the virus, organize the appropriate documents in advance.
Remembering everything that you need to do to ensure that your child is safe and secure when they reach adulthood is difficult. You might feel as though they are still your baby, but in the eyes of the law, they are an adult.
Do you need the help of an attorney? Schedule a Discovery Meeting with us by calling (916) 241-9661 to review your goals and discuss your options.