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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Legalese for Parents

When I had to give up my job as a litigation associate for Beadboy1, little did I know that the legal profession would not let me go. I'm not talking about the legal issues Mr. Beadgirl and I discussed with regard to estate planning or Beadboy1's city benefits, or even the unofficial legal advice I've given friends and family over the years. Instead, I've been keeping track of the legal terms that apply to parenting.

Adverse Possession
: "A method of acquisition of title to real property."* Statutory requirements vary by state, but in general it must be hostile (you claim the property as yours, not the owner's), exclusive (only you have access to the property), continuous (for the prescribed period of time), and open (you don't try to hide what you are doing) (BAR-BRI graduates will recognize the mnemonic ECHO).

Beadboy2 displayed a remarkable grasp (heh) of this concept when he once grabbed something of mine, clutched it to his chest, and said "That's not yours! It's mine!"

Attractive Nuisance: A condition or thing which is dangerous to children, but which is "attractive," causing the children to want to play in or with it.*

Almost everything in a house is an attractive nuisance to a toddler or pre-schooler -- electronics, outlets, knives, medications, needles, wine glasses (and their contents), appliances, and cats.

Forum Shopping: "Such occurs when a party attempts to have his action tried in a particular court or jurisdiction where he feels he will receive the most favorable judgment or verdict."*

While both have engaged in this, Beadboy1 is particularly adept when it comes to that extra cookie or glass of juice I've said "no" to; once he even ordered me to "ask Daddy." Mr. Beadgirl has fallen for it a shameful number of times.

*Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed.

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