Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New York

Parental liability for adult child

To what extent is a parent liable for an adult child's medical bills, etc. The child is 40+ and gainfully employed. I am retired and with just-adequate resources. Thanks so much.

Asked on 8/03/00, 3:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Wright Law Offices of David Wright
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Re: Parental liability for adult child

I have never heard of a parent being held liable for an adult child's bills. There is a law in NY holding parents liable for their children's wrongs, but I believe that only applies to minor children, i.e. under age 21.

A creditor might argue that he provided "necessaries" to the child, but even here, I don't know of any case or law holding you responsible. Under NY law, a spouse can be held liable to a creditor who has supplied "necessaries," such as urgent medical care, to a spouse. It may be that this doctrine could be extended to encompass an adult child who is living with you, but I've never heard of it happening.

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Answered on 9/20/00, 1:54 pm

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