by Tina Seymour Demoran, Esq., Seymour Law Firm, PLLC
Ah, that Senior Year of High School.
The last homecoming dance, the last performances, the last Prom, ordering graduation invitations, class rings, and your student’s cap and gown for graduation.
The Senior Year is a year full of big events, and new beginnings.
Some easy to handle, some not so easy.
Usually, during that Senior Year, your child will also turn the age of 18.
Legally speaking, this is the biggest step of them all.
For you, and for your child.
As a parent, you lose the right to automatically request and review medical records for your child.
You lose the right to give consent for medical treatment for your child.
You lose the right to review and request your child’s transcripts for school.
You lose the right to have access to your child’s court records.
For your child, he or she becomes “an adult” in the eyes of the law in regards to the ability to legally sign an enforceable contract.
Your child has age-related statutes applied to him (e.g. statutory rape, etc.).
Your child may lose the right to certain government assistance programs.
Your child has the right to take credit cards out in his or her name, and either establish or destroy their credit record.
If you have a child with special needs, this list becomes even more concerning and troubling…and problematic.
So, how do you and your child meet these new circumstances together?
1. Talk to your child BEFORE they turn 18.
2. Speak with an experienced attorney who can assist you in dealing with these issues in a proactive manner.
3. If your child is agreeable, put in place a Written Plan that covers those contingencies that may arise, from both a legal and a medical standpoint.
Yes, your child is turning 18.
Big changes are right around the corner.
However, with the right plan in place, and an open line of communication between you and your child, you can both rest assured that you are meeting any challenge that may come your way head-on.
Stay tuned for next week’s Blue Jean Lawyer Column:
“What are my legal rights as a parent and as an ex-spouse when my child goes to college?”
Please contact me at (228)224-6781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.