Separated dad and mom are each responsible for damages brought on by their baby | EUROtoday

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LThe Court of Cassation dominated on Friday that separated dad and mom, once they collectively train parental authority, are “both liable for damages caused by their minor child.” And this, “even if the minor only resides with one of his parents,” in accordance with a press launch. A choice that echoes the political debates following the July 2023 riots.

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The highest courtroom of the French judiciary appeared into the case of a youngster from Bouches-du-Rhône convicted of “destruction of wood by fire” after a collection of fires lit close to Marseille in the course of the summer time 2017.

The courtroom had declared each his divorced dad and mom civilly responsible for the injury induced, although he was residing along with his mom. The father had appealed, arguing that he couldn’t be held liable as a result of his baby's ordinary residence had not been established with him. The enchantment courtroom dominated in his favour earlier than the mom and baby appealed to the Court of Cassation.

The case retried

With this case, the magistrates of the Court of Cassation are “developing” the case regulation, as a result of till then, they judged that solely the father or mother “with whom the courts had established the habitual residence of the child” may “be ordered to make compensation damage caused by his minor child. But explains the high court, “when the parents jointly exercise parental authority, the condition of cohabitation is considered to be fulfilled even when they are separated and the child only resides with one of them”.
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“In this case, both parents remain responsible for the damage caused by the minor child,” continues the court which overturns the appeal decision. The case will have to go to trial again.

The decision of the Court of Cassation provides in law an element of response to the thorny political debate opened in particular by the outgoing presidential majority on the responsibility of the two parents after the urban riots which had set towns and districts ablaze in the summer of 2023 after the death of Nahel, killed by a police officer in Nanterre.

Responsibility of both parents

In a speech in April in Viry-Châtillon (Essonne) dedicated to the fight against minor violence, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced his intention to make both parents jointly responsible for financial compensation when a child has caused damage.

The subject came up again during the electoral campaign for the legislative elections with the proposal of the president of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, to suspend family allowances granted to parents of repeat juvenile offenders, “when academic deficiencies are confirmed”.

This would be punishing “the only mom”, whereas “in lots of instances”, delinquent minors stay in single-parent households, retorted Prime Minister Gabriel Attal (Ensemble) in the course of the debate which pitted him in opposition to Jordan Bardella and the primary secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure, on France 2 on Thursday.

“When a juvenile delinquent commits an act of delinquency, it is the parent with whom he resides that we seek in terms of responsibility. I propose to change the law and that from now on we go after both parents. If the father has been gone for years, he will be responsible too,” advised Gabriel Attal.