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Ask Walter Your Own Question
Walter, Legal Consultant
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience:  Family Law Consultant Specializing In Interpretation Of Family and General Law.
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When absolutely needed we will spank our children on ...

Customer Question

When absolutely needed we will spank our children on the butt with a belt. My chiid started crying at school after a week of failing homework scores. We had offerred him a toy if he could pull some A''s on Friday. He got a 79 which is not bad but he knew he would not get his toy. He started crying and telling the teacher he would be in trouble. The teacher asked him what kind of trouble and he said he would get spanked. The teacher sent him to the social worker in school and then he was interogated heavily. They tried and succeeded in getting him to say he was spanked. Her was trying to manipulate them into getting a grade changed but may have cause a mess for us. We have not been contacted by the school but he was told by the social worker to inform us and report to him on Monday Morning. We live in Northern NJ is there anything to worry about? Is spanking illegal in NJ? Can the social worker interogate our children without parental concent? Please Help we are scared.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Walter replied 9 years ago.


Per New Jersey Law spanking is not illegal as long as it is not used in excess. The issue is more likely the belt then the spanking. While parents are allowed to spank the parent also must use this in moderation. A belt could be deemed excessive so this may be something you want to reconsider in your punishment regimen. There will always be someone who feels spanking is abuse, but the law is quite clear that it is not.

As far as being concerned, if the counselor believed it was a issue of abuse the child would have been removed from the home. Basically when claims of abuse are made the counselor is obligated to report this to child protecting services. What will happen is a worker will talk with the child and with the parents and do a quick home study. There are two ways of handling this, one right one wrong. If you are hostile, aggravated and refusing to cooperate this can drag out for a while. If you are polite and allow them to do their job most often then not the case is settled quickly if there is no abuse.

The fact is they have a job to do, and that is to protect children. They understand children and how they operate well lol. Every child at some point or another try to manipulate people. They will speak with the child and with you and ask how you punish the children. Be honest and try not to be defensive. Let them know you know the difference between disincline and abuse. As far as can they interrogate the child, the answer is yes. The law provides for them to speak with the child at the school or at home without the parent present. This is standard procedure.

Here is the law on spanking in New Jersey:

Cruelty to a child includes inflicting unnecessarily severe corporal punishment upon a child. Sec. 9:6-1.[Ci.] "Abuse" includes a parent, guardian, or other person with control or custody inflicting excessive corporal punishment (which must be excessive to the point that the child's physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result). Sec. 9:6-8.9.[Ci.] Person with responsibility for care, supervision, discipline, or safety of another may use force against them if for the purpose of and to the extent necessary to further the responsibility. Sec. 2C:3-8.[Cr.] Justification is not available if the person recklessly or negligently injures or creates a risk of injury. Sec. 2C: 3-9.[Cr.]

I wish you and your family the best,


Walter and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Great response! The legal advice will now give me a leg up on my issue. Accurate!
Expert:  Walter replied 9 years ago.
Your welcome and I wish you the best!

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