When Child-on-Parent Abuse Constitutes Domestic Violence

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 19, 2023 | 0 Comments

When you think of domestic violence, you generally consider a scene involving two partners. Your second thought might involve a parent abusing their child. What you probably don't consider, however, is an instance of a parent being abused by their adult child.

Child-on-parent abuse doesn't play out as often, but it does occur more than you might imagine. When it does happen, it's less reported due to the unique nature of the relationships. Sometimes it's reported by a third party. This was recently the case in Maplewood. There, reported on an incident involving a son abusing his mother. After a bystander called 911, the police arrived on the scene to find a 50-year-old mother with injuries. They arrested her adult son.

Who Can Be Accused of Domestic Violence in New Jersey?

Domestic violence doesn't occur between just anyone. Two people fighting at a house party, for example, aren't involved in a domestic violence dispute unless a qualifying relationship exists between them. Domestic violence is categorized as abuse occurring between individuals with a qualifying relationship. These qualifying relationships include:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Current or former romantic partners
  • Current or former member of the household
  • Anyone who has a child together or is expecting a child together

In terms of child-on-parent abuse, a child must be over the age of 18, or be emancipated, to be accused of domestic violence. Accordingly, even though a 16-year-old kid might be stronger and more powerful than his parents, the violence against his parents wouldn't constitute domestic abuse in most cases. Granted, it could trigger other violent crime charges.

In summary, only an adult child, or an emancipated minor, could be charged with domestic violence against a parent in New Jersey.

What Constitutes Domestic Abuse?

It's a mistake to think domestic abuse only occurs when one person is physically injured by another. Not only is it considered abuse to inflict physical injury, but emotional injury can also qualify as domestic violence in New Jersey. In addition to the obvious forms of domestic violence, it could also include:

  • Stalking
  • False Imprisonment
  • Criminal coercion
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Harassment
  • Robbery
  • Burglary

Relationships between adult children and their parents can be difficult. To further complicate matters, adult children often become the caregivers of their parents. These scenarios can easily lead to accusations of elder abuse or theft.

Speak to a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney ASAP

Family relationships are hard, and emotions often run too high. If you or someone you love has been accused of domestic violence, you need to speak to a criminal defense attorney right away. Attorney Joseph D. Lento knows you need guidance after being accused of domestic violence. Attorney Lento and his dedicated Criminal Defense Team are here to help. Call 888-535-3696 today, or contact us online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.