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Best Practices to Avoid Legal Consequences for Parents & College Bound Students

Best Practices to Avoid Legal Consequences for Parents & College Bound Students

Preparing to send a child to college is more than just helping them pack their car or making sure they have the right meal plan. It is also about equipping them with the right resources to better protect themselves now that they are legally independent. Talk to your child about necessary legal documents and how to avoid potential legal challenges to ensure a safe and smooth school year. 

For example, if your 18-year-old is badly injured in a car accident, unless the child signed a durable power of attorney and HIPAA authorization, you cannot access their medical information, even in an emergency. 

Join us for our July 2nd Wednesday to learn more on the importance of Best Practices to Avoid Legal Consequences for Parents & College Bound Students:

Addressing issues from both the student's and the parent's perspective, this session features moderator Paul Millenbach with litigators Bryan Cermak and Alex Rusek as they discuss the following:

Getting into Trouble:

  • Knowing the Importance of Consent:
    • While a difficult subject to discuss, it is important that your child understands the importance of obtaining consent from a partner prior to engaging in any sexual activities. Not obtaining consent can lead to accusations and possible convictions. Conviction of a sex offense, such as Criminal Sexual Conduct, can lead to expulsion from school under Title IX, loss of scholarships and government backed student loans, loss of future education and employment opportunities, criminal charges, registration on the sex offender registry, and even prison time.
  • Common Legal Pitfalls for Students and Facing Criminal Charges in College:
    • If your child is charged with a crime, it is important to contact a criminal law attorney immediately to assist them through the process and mitigate damage. Even the pettiest of crimes carry long-term consequences not just for an academic career but also for a future professional career.

Planning Ahead: 

  • Combatting Cyber-Bullying & Defamation:
    • Knowing what to do and what your legal options are if you discover your child has painted someone on social media in a false light or if your student is a victim themselves of defamation. Freedom of speech does not always mean freedom from consequences.
  • Importance of Having Proper Documentation in Place:
    • Once a child turns 18, they are no longer required to be under the guardianship of their parents. Prior to a child turning 18 and going off to college, parents should sit down with their child to put together some basic forms so they are protected should the worst happen including a healthcare durable power of attorney, HIPAA authorization and FERPA form.
  • Academic Dishonesty:
    • College students now have greater access to resources than their parents ever did. This unfortunately can also be a double-edged sword with tools such as ChatGPT which can lead to academic dishonesty should a student use it to research and craft a paper and then not check the resources or reformat it, leading to failing grades or expulsion.
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