Bailing Your Kid Out: 3 Factors To Discuss With Your Child Before Signing A Bail Bond Contract

To bail or not to bail is one of the most controversial parenting issues pondered. While some parents believe that dealing with the legal process itself is enough of a lesson, other parents believe that they shouldn't bail their child out for them to get a better idea of the consequences of their actions. Still, a surprisingly large amount of young adults do get arrested, with 25% of 18 year olds having an arrest record. If you decide to bail your child out, it's important that you take the time to at least sit down to talk to your kid before signing the bail bond contract. Here are 3 factors you should really consider examining.

Come Up with a Payment Plan to Reimburse You of the Cost of Signing a Bail Bond Contract

Bail bonds do not come cheap. While you won't be expected to pay the entire bail amount, you will be expected to pay a certain percentage that is non-refundable should you agree to sign the bail bond contract. While the exact fee varies state by state, you can expect to pay about 10% of the bail amount. For example, if bail is set at $5,000, you will be expected to pay a non-refundable $500 if you sign a bail bond contract.

There is no reason why you should pay out of your pockets for your child's misbehavior. To make sure that your child fully understands the consequences of their own behavior, discuss how they will be repaying you before signing the contract. If your child already has money saved up, they should pay you back immediately; however, if they don't, you might want to have your child agree to take on a part-time job position to pay you back in installments.

Set Stricter Rules and Consequences

Depending on what your child is getting arrested for, the best way to nip the problem in the bud is to make sure that they know not to do it again. Set strict rules. Sit down with your child before signing the bail bond contract in order to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions of the rules that will be enforced should you sign the contract. For example, if your child was arrested for drinking-related offences, restrict them from partying or drinking for several months. If your child was arrested and charged with assault, you might want your child to agree to go to counselling for anger management issues.

Set consequences and make sure that you enforce the consequences should your child decide to go back on the agreement. In worst case scenarios, you can request the bail bondsman to end the agreement and take your child back to jail until their court date. Don't sign the bail bond contract until you and your child are in agreement. Write down all of the terms to make sure that there will be no arguments in the future.

Discuss Plans for Going to Scheduled Court Appointments

If your child does not make it to court or show up on time, you might be held responsible for paying the full sum of the bail amount. As you will be the one responsible, make sure that your child fully understands how important it is for them to show up on time. Discuss with your child how they are going to get to the scheduled court appointments. This is particularly important if your child does not live at home.

Make sure that your child has the means to get to court. This may include either a car or a public transit pass. Some bail bondsmen will even agree to drive your child to court on the designated date.  


Don't sign a bail bond contract without having a serious discussion with your child. Make sure that your child fully understands the consequences of their action and are in full agreement with what they need to do in order to gain your respect back and in order for you to feel comfortable taking on such a large risk and responsibility for them. If you are looking for a bail bond company, why not try these out?