In Los Angeles, the courts are getting tough on parents whose children commit gang related crimes. They are sending the parents and the children to parenting classes, and they are even prosecuting parents under certain circumstances. It’s a new law called the Parent Accountability Act. California is not the only state holding parents accountable for the children’s misdeeds:
Elsewhere, other penalties exist for parents of children who get into trouble. In several jurisdictions, including Santa Fe, N.M., and San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, parents of kids caught spraying graffiti must pay the bill to clean it up.A new law going into effect in California next year would let officials prosecute parents when their kids skip school.Pasadena juvenile Judge Philip Soto said he’d not had a case yet where he could send parents to the new Parent Accountability class, but he supported it.“It’s always difficult in court when the parents come in and feign ignorance and say, ‘I didn’t know anything about this,'” Soto said. “You have to sit back and wonder how can you miss these signs.” [aolnews]
How might this type of law inspire a similar “accountability” law directed at parents in a divorce scenario? Perhaps in cases of demonstrated parental alienation, parents could soon find themselves prosecuted. Already, they are required to attend parenting classes in divorce cases. But if there is continued friction between parents post-divorce, it is totally conceivable that a similar law could be enacted that deals with parents in divorce cases; and prosecution could be the next step in egregious circumstances where “alienation of affection” is involved.