February 26, 2006

Filial Responsibility Laws - List of States Having Them

States with filial responsibility laws are: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

To look up the actual language of the statutes, here are the citations:

1. Alaska Stat. 25.20.030, 47.25.230 (Michie 2000)

2. Arkansas Code Ann. 20-47-106 (Michie 1991)

3. California Fam. Code 4400, 4401, 4403, 4410-4414 (West 1994), California Penal Code 270c (West 1999), California Welf. & Inst. Code 12350 (West Supp. 2001)

4. Connecticut Gen. Stat. Ann. 46b-215, 53-304 (West Supp. 2001)

5. Delaware Code Ann. tit. 13, 503 (1999)

6. Georgia Code Ann. 36-12-3 (2000)

7. Idaho Code 32-1002 (Michie 1996)

8. Indiana Code Ann. 31-16-17-1 to 31-16-17-7 (West 1997); Indiana Code Ann. 35-46-1-7 (West 1998)

9. Iowa Code Ann. 252.1, 252.2, 252.5, 252.6, 252.13 (West 2000)

10. Kentucky Rev. Stat. Ann. 530.050 (Banks-Baldwin 1999)

11. Louisiana Rev. Stat. Ann. 4731 (West 1998)

12. Maryland Code Ann., Fam. Law 13-101, 13-102, 13-103, 13-109 (1999)

13. Massachusetts Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 273, 20 (West 1990)

14. Mississippi Code Ann. 43-31-25 (2000)

15. Montana Code Ann. 40-6-214, 40-6-301 (2000)

16. Nevada Rev. Stat. Ann. 428.070 (Michie 2000);
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. 439B.310 (Michie 2000)

17. New Hampshire Rev. Stat. Ann. 167:2 (1994)

18. New Jersey Stat. Ann. 44:4-100 to 44:4-102, 44:1-139 to 44:1-141 (West 1993)

19. North Carolina Gen. Stat. 14-326.1 (1999)

20. North Dakota Cent. Code 14-09-10 (1997)

21. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 2919.21 (Anderson 1999)

22. Oregon Rev. Stat. 109.010 (1990)

23. 62 Pennsylvania Cons. Stat. 1973 (1996)

24. Rhode Island Gen. Laws 15-10-1 to 15-10-7 (2000); R.I. Gen. Laws 40-5-13 to 40-5-18 (1997)

25. South Dakota Codified Laws 25-7-28 (Michie 1999)

26. Tennessee Code Ann. 71-5-115 (1995), Tenn. Code Ann. 71-5-103 (Supp. 2000)

27. Utah Code Ann. 17-14-2 (1999)

28. Vermont Stat. Ann. tit. 15, 202-03 (1989)

29. Virginia Code Ann. 20-88 (Michie 2000)

30. West Virginia Code 9-5-9 (1998).

These state laws vary; however, law student Shannon Edelstone, in her award-winning essay (cited below), studied all of the state laws and found that most agree that children have a duty to provide necessities for parents who cannot do so for themselves. The states' legislation also gives guidelines to the courts, telling judges to use a number of factors when weighing the adult child's ability to pay against the indigent parent's needs. Judges, accordingly, have considered such variables as the adult child's financing of their child's college education, as well as his/her personal needs for savings and retirement.

What state had the most court cases dealing with application of its statute? In my search, it was California.


Sources: Filial Responsibility: Can the Legal Duty to Support Our Parents Be Effectively Enforced? by Shannon Frank Edelstone, appearing in the Fall 2002 issue of the American Bar Association's Family Law Quarterly, 36 Fam. L.Q. 501 (2002); my own research using Lexis.Com.

June 9, 2010 Update:  I have discovered that the New York Times has used this post as a graphic without my knowledge or permission. The link to that graphic, which accompanied an article written by Jane Gross in the Times' New Old Age Blog is here:  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/health/NOA/30states.pdf

I've written the Editor.  I suppose some would say that having your stuff lifted by the New York Times is a backwards compliment. 

Personally, I just want my readers to know that I did this work, I'm not the one who has stolen a blog post here. 
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