Is Spanking Child Legal?

Is It Illegal to Spank Children
Is Spanking Child Legal?


ET BRAD ANGELINA KELLY CHANG 12.6.16 from Kelly Chang Rickert on Vimeo.

Patton v. Thicke, LASC BD 609 292: Patton ex parte denied

Yesterday, Paula went to court on an ex parte application to modify custody based on Robin’s alleged “spanking” of their 6-year-old-son Julian.  So does the law allow you to spank as punishment?  Absolutely!  Studies (and more importantly, common sense) have repeatedly shown that DISCIPLINE is good for children.  Children need to have boundaries.

Interestingly enough, Paula and Robin had am amicable divorce (with neither having attorneys), filed in October 2014, and finalized by Stipulated Judgment in March 2015.  They have both been following the same custody orders (Paula Sunday to Thursday, and Robin Thursday to Sunday) since then.  It appears that Paula appeared to take a page from Angelina’s playbook and summon DCFS.  It will not fare well for her.

Is it legal to spank your child?

In very general terms, yes, spanking is legal in California, if done for the purpose of discipline and is not excessive or unreasonable.

Under California law, “a parent has a right to reasonably discipline his or her child.”

For that punishment to be reasonable, it must be: (1) genuinely disciplinary; (2) warranted by the circumstances; and (3) not excessive in amount.

Is spanking child abuse?

Yes, if it falls under the conduct proscribed in California Penal Code 273d:(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, four, or six years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

Child Abuse Can Be Misdemeamor or Felony

If misdemeamor, punishment could be $6,000 fine or up to 1 year in jail.

If felony, punishment could be 2, 4, or 6 years in jail or $6,000 fine.

Have a case like this?

Family matters are extremely personal, and it is important for us to know details of your case before giving advice. Each case is different, and it is important to find an attorney you trust. To arrange an appointment, please call us at (626) 765-5767 between 8:30am – 5:00pm, Mondays to Fridays, or fill out the form below.

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