Is It A Criminal Offence to Leave Your Child Alone at Home?

>> Jun 30, 2018


Many parents are not sure of the legal consequences in Australia if they leave their child alone at home. The thought of leaving your kid at home especially when summer vacations are around the corner haunts you. You might have seen the movie “Home Alone” where Kevin MacCallister was left alone at home as his parents forgot to take him on vacation. However, entertainment and real-time cases are different. The question here arises- is leaving your child alone at home a criminal offence in Australia?
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Your duties as a parent
When it comes to children, you have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent. Most people in Perth are anxious and confused about laws on children and child supervision in Australia. Many people feel that these laws are excessive especially when they discover what penalties they are most likely to face in the event of leaving a child unattended at home.

What are the laws and is it a criminal offence?
Perth criminal lawyers state the laws differ in various regions of the nation. For instance, if you take Queensland, children below 12 years should not be left alone at home for an unreasonable period. In case, the parents have to be away; they must make alternate arrangements for child supervision and care. In case, any person leaves a child unattended for an unreasonable amount of time, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanour. The maximum penalty for such offences is imprisonment for three years. However, there is an exception to the law, if leaving the child for an extended period was for a reasonable cause.

Child neglect
In some other parts of Australia like SA, NT and NSW, the criminal offences of leaving your child at home fall under child neglect laws that apply in some specific circumstances. In areas of WA, Tasmania and Victoria, if a parent is found guilty of inadequate child supervision for kids till 16-18years, penalties are harsh. However, the penalties will differ as per the circumstances involved.

Know the laws and stay aware
Criminal lawyers in Perth state that under The Commonwealth Family Law Act, legal provisions have been made for parents as well as guardians to provide their kids with food, clothing, accommodation and other necessities required in life. Whether the child left at home was unreasonable or not will depend upon the age, capacity, length of time the child was alone, whether there was food, water and shelter provided and the reason for the parent or guardian to leave the child alone. The circumstances of the case will make the courts decide whether leaving the child was unreasonable or not. 

Every case is unique. As a parent and guardian, it is crucial for you to consult a good lawyer in Perth to know your duties and the rules relating to leaving your child at home alone for any reason. It helps you to abide by the law and commit no offence out of ignorance. 

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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