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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11975
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Is it legal for me to leave my 4 year old with my 14 year

Customer Question

Is it legal for me to leave my 4 year old with my 14 year old while I'm at work across the street from my house, with periodic check ins
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I am in new jersey. But this isn't about real estate
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No nothing filed or reported. I have not yet done this but am going to be filin shortly and want to know what leg I have to stand on when getting custody established
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No this is my only concern as of right now
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to helping you.

There is no specific law that directly addresses this in NJ. Instead, this would fall under the abuse and neglect statutes. The definition of an abused or neglected child is defined as a child under the age of 18, whose physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as the result of the failure of the parent, guardian or other person having custody and control to exercise a minimum degree of care.

Whether or not a parent can be held accountable for possible child neglect for improper supervision will be based on the totality of the circumstances. There is no clear answer because it depends on the maturity of the 14 year old. Normally, leaving a younger with a 14 year old for short periods of time isn't an issue, but of course it depends on the maturity and responsibility level of the 14 year old.

So long as they are responsible and capable of looking after the child (because as you know, it doesn't take long for a 4 year old to find trouble!) I think you'll be okay, because you'll be very close by and checking in regularly, it's not as if you're leaving for hours or overnight.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Well the other part is I work the over night shift at my facility. I do 3 checks on my daughter while she is there and she is sleeping. I go into work at 11 and get home at 7. I do checks at 1230, 230, and again at 4.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 month ago.

This is merely my professional opinion --because again the law is silent on this issue -but I don't think leaving them overnight with a 14 year old is a wise idea, even with periodic check-ins. I think caring for a child overnight is a huge responsibility and most 14 year olds don't have that maturity level and wouldn't know how to react in an emergency in the middle of the night. I think it would be best to have an adult stay with them overnight.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 month ago.

Was there anything I could clarify for you or did you need any additional information?