People often forget that children start having legal rights from the moment they are born, regardless of their race, gender, disability, or religion. As a parent, there are some legal rights of your child you need to know, particularly those concerning their welfare and those for which you are responsible for.

 

This article will provide an overview of the important legal rights your child has that every parent should know.

Basic Rights

Although children don’t have the right to vote, to sue, or to own property, they most definitely have the right to a safe environment, education, good nutrition, and healthcare. All the internationally-recognised rights of children are listed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by 196 countries. The CRC has 54 articles that set out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of the child, including the right to relax and play, the right to be safe from violence, the right to freedom of expression, etc.

 

The underlying principle here is that a child is a human being, not an object or property of their parents. Hence, in case of parental abuse, neglect or abandonment, the court can actually terminate the rights of the parent. Parents have the responsibility to provide for the child’s basic needs and to provide a safe environment for the child, or they risk having their children taken away. The court and state authority are granted this power as an interpretation of the principle on the child’s right to life survival and development.

2. Personal Injury Claims for Children

If a child is injured as a result of negligence or violence, the child’s guardian can bring a claim to the Court against the party responsible. Simon Becker of Nealefhima.com explains that it is important to avoid posting on social media while in the middle of a court case. You do not want to do anything that may jeopardize the case and posting on social media can end up hurting you in court. 

 

The way personal injury claims for children are handled is similar to those of adults, but one main difference is the time limit in which the claim must be officially submitted. This varies by country, for example, in Australia, if the injury was done to the child when the child was under 18 years old, then the claim for that personal injury can be lodged to Court by their 21st birthday. For other countries, the claims can only be lodged within the timeframe that the injury could be determined to have had any impact on the child’s health or wellbeing.

3. The Best Interests of the Child

 

The second general principle in the CRC that is used to interpret all the other articles is regarding the best interest of the child. For example, in a divorce case where both parents request for child custody, a judge in a family law court will make the decision based on the best interests of the child. That means the court will look at the history and capabilities of both parents to assess whom the child should live or have contact with. 

 

The court order will then specify if the child will live with one parent or both parents when the child will live with each parent and if the child lives with one parent, then how long the child will see or have contact with the other parent. The court can also be very specific in terms of how the child will have contact with a parent, via staying overnight and holidays, or via direct face-to-face meetings or only via letters and postcards. All of these will be determined based on the best interests of the child.

4. Changing your Child’s Name

Generally, if you wish to change your child’s name, the court will require you to seek the permission of the child’s other parent first. If for some reason you cannot obtain the other parent’s permission, you can still lodge an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order (SIO). The SIO is a request for the Court to determine a question related to parental responsibility for a child. If the Court agrees to the name change or the other parent agrees to it, then you can go ahead with the procedure for a formal name change for your child. 

 

These are some of the key legal rights for your child that every parent should know. While in the middle of a court case, it is important to avoid posting on social media, as this could lead to negative impacts on the case and influence the court’s decision. At the end of the day, remember that your child is a human being and their rights will always be duly protected by the law. As parents, you are responsible for upholding your child’s rights, protecting their well-being and always acting in their best interests. 

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