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  1. #1
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    Default Can You Sue a Parent Over Childhood Abuse, Neglect and Abandonment

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: MA.

    My mother abused and abandoned me at age 13, my father was unable to care for me and I was on my own this happened in the late 1960's. Due to my mother's physical abuse, neglect and abandonment I struggled with emotional/mental illness throughout my life and I recenlty have become disabled. My mother left our State and changed her first and last name. My struggles have been extensive and difficult to navigate in my life and caused significant damage financially, emotionally, physically.

    My mother never provided physical, emotional, educational or financial care in anyway, a right a child has and her responsibility as a parent. However her alias's and moving made it difficult to do anything and not knowing my rights as a child. I recently have found her and she has done very well for herself and is married presently to a Harvard Phd., she has been married 3 times since my father all well to do financially, and owns a home and has assets.

    Before she dies, Can I file any type of suit for damages, I relize there would be a statue, but due to my mental emotional illness, no ability to advocate for myself to find her and file suit back then and added her alias's there are several, could there be something I can do to pay for my care now ? Can I do anything to be an heir to her estate. No one in her life, her Synagoge even her husband is aware of me and I have 5 other siblings. There are 8 Grandchildren, Could I sue for them and not for myself ?

    I am hopeful that I can be acknowledged at least to her Estate if not for damages for my ill life now. Can I lein her assests ? I also want to know my maternal health and history, relatives maternal side as well as if I am Jewish. Before she dies or I die, I need to do something to somehow rectify this long painful journey of a life, at least for my children, it would bring closure and responsibility she has gotton away with her whole life. Being known as her Children is Important, and holding her Responsible for her actions is Important and her Estate before it all goes to her Synagoge or someone else, who does not know of me and my siblings as well as her Grandchildren exisistance.

    She resides in Macon, GA. She lives a secret life, so sad for us. Any and All responses are welcome, but I have tried my whole life to let it go and I am and have been in therapy, But I have to do something to bring Attention to this and to her and the people in her life before it is too late. I had hoped all my life she would come back to me and that is not going to happen at this point, a sad reality for me. If an Attorney that is interested could let me know or a referral to one, I would truly appreciate this help !

    I am aware there could be costs any of these motion possibilities. I am hoping for responses from this Forum to help me with what direction I could take. Thank you very much !

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    You are not going to get anywhere - these events occurred almost 50 years go.

    No, you can't force yourself into your mother's will or take any of her estate for yourself, and certainly not for your children.

    No attorney is going to get involved in this because there is nothing that can be done. You have issues and apparently your therapist is not helping you. You need to go to another for treatment.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    Quote Quoting Highwayman
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    You are not going to get anywhere - these events occurred almost 50 years go.

    No, you can't force yourself into your mother's will or take any of her estate for yourself, and certainly not for your children.

    No attorney is going to get involved in this because there is nothing that can be done. You have issues and apparently your therapist is not helping you. You need to go to another for treatment.
    I am not entirely sure you are accurate on that. Its not accurate if the party dies intestate. Its probably accurate if the party has a will but there has been some discussion that a will really needs to specifically disinherit a child if that child is to not be included. I do not presume to be an expert on wills at all, but am only remembering what I have read on these forums in the past.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    If mom's will is silent about other children, rather than specifically disinheriting the children she abandoned, then her will is susceptible to challenge by the children as pretermitted heirs -- heirs accidentally omitted from a will. If mom passes away without a will, her "forgotten" children should be able to make claims under the laws of intestate succession. Either would involve their making timely claims against their mother's estate.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can You Sue a Parent Over Childhood Abuse, Neglect and Abandonment

    Quote Quoting Mevan1960
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    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: MA.
    My mother abused and abandoned me at age 13, my father was unable to care for me and I was on my own this happened in the late 1960's. Due to my mother's physical abuse, neglect and abandonment I struggled with emotional/mental illness throughout my life and I recenlty have become disabled. My mother left our State and changed her first and last name. My struggles have been extensive and difficult to navigate in my life and caused significant damage financially, emotionally, physically....

    Before she dies, Can I file any type of suit for damages, I relize there would be a statue, but due to my mental emotional illness, no ability to advocate for myself to find her and file suit back then and added her alias's there are several, could there be something I can do to pay for my care now ?
    The claim against your mother would be a tort claim for the abuse. The problem is that the statute of limitation (SOL) for that under Georgia law is two years from the date the act giving rise to the injury occurred. When the plaintiff (you) is under age 18 when the that act occurs, the limitation period is tolled until you reach 18, meaning you would have had two years from the time you turned age 18 to file it. Once you turned 20, the SOL was gone and the lawsuit, if filed today, would be easily dismissed. The same problem would occur if you brought the case in Massachusetts where the abuse occurred. Massachusetts has a 3 year SOL, but that extra year of course helps little when the acts happened way back in the 1960s. Even if the SOL was still open, you have problems at this point of getting evidence to support your claim and in particular evidence to proved damages. Your damages would be the cost of whatever medical care/therapy you needed to deal with that abuse.

    As for support when you were a kid, even assuming you would have had standing to bring the claim, again it is much too late to bring it and even if you could youíd likely not have any evidence to prove how much you paid in support for yourself.

    Note that you could not in any case get her to pay for your current support now, either. While some states have laws that obligate a parent to support a disabled child (generally the disability has to be severe enough to render the child incompetent), Georgia is not one of those states. By Georgia statute the duty of a parent to support a child ends when the child reaches the age of majority and the case law states that the courts cannot impose such a duty when the legislature provided no exception for it.


    Quote Quoting Mevan1960
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    Can I do anything to be an heir to her estate. No one in her life, her Synagoge even her husband is aware of me and I have 5 other siblings. There are 8 Grandchildren, Could I sue for them and not for myself ?
    No, you cannot do that either. Your mother owes you no obligation to leave you any inheritance. She may make a will and leave you nothing if she wishes. You and your siblings would be entitled to inherit a share of her estate if she does not make a will, assuming she has any property that does not pass to her husband or others outside of probate. You have just wait until she dies and then see if you might be eligible to get something. Before she dies there is nothing you can do. You cannot force her to leave you something in her will.

    Iím sorry that your mother turned out be so bad when you were a kid. But it's been well over 40 years since then and you should have long ago dealt with those issues. Once you were an adult she no longer had any obligation to you, and to the extent you dwelled all these years on her failures while you were a kid, frankly thatís on you. Itís too late to sue your mother and doing that wouldnít help you get over the issues you have with her. Itís time to let go of those resentments and move on, for your own sake. Find a good therapist or counselor to help you get over the issues you have with your mother.


    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I am not entirely sure you are accurate on that. Its not accurate if the party dies intestate. Its probably accurate if the party has a will but there has been some discussion that a will really needs to specifically disinherit a child if that child is to not be included. I do not presume to be an expert on wills at all, but am only remembering what I have read on these forums in the past.
    It is a good practice for a will to specifically state that a child of the testator (the person making the will) gets nothing when the testator wants that kid to get nothing, though the will should typically not state why the testator doesn’t want to give the kid anything. As Mr. Knowitall stated, if the will is simply silent a court could either hold that the testator meant to disinherit the kid or could hold that the kid is a pretermitted heir — essentially an heir that the testator forgot to include. In the latter case, the kid then shares in the estate under the theory that the parent would have included the kid if the parent had remembered the kid. It is that risk that prompts the practice of ensuring the will does mention the kid so that it is clear to the court the kid was not simply forgotten. Some attorneys take the approach of recommending that the testator leave a token gift, i.e. a few bucks, instead, but in most states simply stating the kid gets nothing will suffice.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    Thank you for your response, however I need my maternal medical history, am i Jewish, and maternal family information.
    Also even though there is a statue she left MA and changed her name both first and last making a case against her void by her alias's and moving to parts unknown to anyone, she went underground- Why wouldn't her actions to creat a secret new life a reason against the Statue ?
    As a teen I was un educated with any resources to find her also.
    My Therapy is helpful as I am aging I need to somehow bring closure to this Parent Being acknowledged and my children being acknowledged it would help me considerable. Not knowing anything about your maternal side as well as medical history causes many questions for me and my children.
    I appreciate your response ! Thank you !

    Thank you !

    If I am named as disinherited, I am sure she has a will, but no sure she will name me, can I disput it due to her abandonment, and non support as a child ? I have witnesses, and support of that as well as her alias's used and moving without anyone's knowledge ?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    If your mother won't share her health history, you will need to try to learn it from other relatives on your mother's side of the family. There is no legal action that will compel her to share that information with you.

    People are allowed to change their names, marry, and move. It's also not unlawful to break off your relationship with family members, or to make it more difficult for them to find you.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    wow thanks, even though her doing so made it a way for her to not be responsible as a parent for physical, emotional, educational, and financual rights of the children ? Just dosent seem right with the Law to me. So I could abandon my children I am responsible for and create a new life where they could not find me and therefore be allowed by the law to not be responsible as a parent and not provide anything to that duty ? Why parents are supported by Law to be completely Irresponsible especially when their life became financially bettered....sad the Law does not do anything to help the children abused by this ability of a parent....Dosen't make sense to me at all !

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    There are crappy parents everywhere. People skip out on supporting their kids all the time. It doesn't make it morally right, and when it is currently happening there is some recourse that the other parent can choose to take. But even then, the recourse options they are available to pursue don't still exist 40+ years after the fact. It's something that needs to be pursued while the abandonment is happening.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Parent Abuse and Neglect/Abandonment As Child Sue for Injury/ Damages/ Estate Hei

    If you choose to "abandon" your adult children, as they are adults, they would have no basis to sue you. If they're minors, you would face possible action in custody court, or a possible child protective proceeding, but such an action would need to be brought while your children are minors.

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