Can Parents Get into Trouble if Their Teen is Sexting?

Yes, I am still talking about sexting.

In case you missed it, last week I talked about the heap of legal trouble your teen can get into if they engage in sexting, sending a sexually suggestive or nude image or message via text.

I had several readers ask a very important follow-up question. In addition to your teen getting into trouble with the law, can you, as the parent and owner of the cell phone and payer of the monthly service bill, also get into trouble?

I mean apart from having to pay your kid’s legal defense (lawyers ain’t cheap).

You bet.

While you won’t be arrested or go to jail, you could be held liable for civil damages if your teen’s sexting was done in a malicious or bullying manner (like blackmail or retaliation against an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend).

How’s that for a great incentive to talk to your teen about sexting NOW. For advice on how to start that conversation, check out What a Lawyer Wants You to Know About Teen Sexting.

So assuming you’ve had that conversation with your teen, can you further protect yourself by legally spying on your teen’s cell phone (like installing spy software)?

You bet, if they are under 18 and you paid for the phone and the monthly service bill.

If they are over the age of 18 or you didn’t pay for the phone or pay the monthly bill (like in a divorce situation), you cannot legally spy on your teen’s cell phone.

Would you install spy software on your teen’s phone? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply