This can’t be right.

From a story about a teen bride and her 40-year-old husband suing to get a few of her belongings back from her parents, I found this statement from the attorney for the teen’s parents a bit odd:

[Robert] Tatum said case law establishes that a minor’s property and earnings belong to the minor’s parents if obtained before emancipation. That was the case with Windy, since she was given all her gifts before getting married, he said.

That can’t be the case law. Can it? I have no idea, and I’m sure the specifics refer to North Carolina where the case is located. But that’s just bizarre to me.

I’ve said that permitting parents to force circumcision on their infant sons is tantamount to treating the child’s body like property. It’s easy to understand that a minor’s earnings are more nuanced than his physical body. Still, how can this be seen as anything other than treating children like productive assets for the parents?

Link via To the People.

UPDATE: Point #2 in Kip’s comment is the key. Mr. Tatum spoke in terms too general for the lay person. In the proper context of understanding the law, I have no problem with such precedent. As I suspected but left unclear, the nuanced part of the case law is the key. It wins here.

One thought on “This can’t be right.”

  1. The “Beanie Baby Scandal” was all over the morning radio shows here in NYC.
    The common law says that the “property” of the minor is the property of the parents, since the presumption is that the parents gave the property to the child in the first place.
    The obvious exceptions are: (1) gifts from third parties expressly to the child, and (2) the child’s earned income (e.g., from employment).

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