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Torts in the Family

Torts In The Family

An especially difficult topic of tort law is domestic relations. Family tort of domestic relations between husband and wife stem from revisions to the historical concept that a woman's legal identity merges with her husbands upon the finalization of a marriage agreement. Under these conditions, without her husband's signature of approval, she could not enter contracts, buy property, or take legal action on her own accord. Contact a family lawyer to consult your case.

The evolution of tort law in domestic relations came about under the passage of several Married Women's property acts in the 1800s, which slowly began to delegate property rights. Similarly, family torts of domestic relations in the past did not distinguish separate legal identities between parent and child. A child was considered to have no legal rights separate from his or her parent or guardian, and was thus the legal responsibility of the guardian. The lack of a legal identity for women and children in domestic relations created the concept of Family.


Torts between parent and child now tend to revolve around the concept of "parental discretion" which is left up to the court's review. A jury is typically not warranted to second guess a parent's right to act in their judgement for their own child. However, the idea of "parental discretion" is not absolute, and a court may find a parent guilty of tortious conduct toward their child as a separate legal entity, and thus may find the parent liable. The same principal works for husband/wife family torts, which warrant a certain amount of cause to breach marital confidentiality and pass judgement.

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