“The father and the mother are responsible for the damage occasioned by their minor child who resides with them or who has been placed by them under the care of other persons, reserving to them recourse against those persons. However, the father and mother are not responsible for the damage occasioned by their minor child who has been emancipated by marriage, by judgment of full emancipation, or by judgment of limited emancipation that expressly relieves the parents of liability for damages occasioned y their minor child.” La. C.C. Art. 2318.
This article is the single reason why many parents choose to judicially emancipate their minor children. “A court may order for good cause the full or limited emancipation of a minor sixteen years of age or older. Full judicial emancipation confers all effects of majority on the person emancipated, unless otherwise provided by law.” La. C.C. Art. 336. In some situations, judicial emancipation can serve to shield parents from the liability for damage caused by their child. The comments to article 336 of the Louisiana Civil Code use the example of a runaway child. In such a case, parents who have no control over the actions of their runaway child could petition the court for the child’s emancipation as a mechanism to ensure that they are not later found liable for the runaway child’s actions. In short, one reason parents might choose to judicially emancipate a minor child is to shield themselves from tort liability caused by the actions of their minor child.
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