Derek Nash and Tanya Walsh of Cornwall, England have a five-year-old named Alex, who was invited to a friend's birthday party at a ski resort a few weeks ago. He skipped it because his parents had double booked him and he spent the day with his grandparents instead.

He came home from school a few days later with an invoice for $24. It was from the mom who threw the birthday party, Julie Lawrence. The invoice said she was on the hook for the money even though Alex no-showed and threatened legal action if it wasn't paid.

Derek and Tanya say they think it's crazy that Julie invoiced their son. A legal expert says there's probably no legal way Julie will be able to get Alex or his parents to pay, even in small claims court.

    These are the unwritten rules of children's parties:

  1. Birthday boy/girl must be given preference for starting activity. Small guests pushing past should be restrained by attending adults
  2. Party bags or gifts for each attending child - the children will always remember "that party" when they didn't get one
  3. If you don't RSVP don't think you can just turn up. And if you do, don't expect a party bag (see above)
  4. Avoid party talk around the parents of the uninvited
  5. Host child MUST win at least one round of pass the parcel. Sweets within each layer for everyone else
  6. Children must be given 15 minutes at the buffet before adults are allowed to hoover up the cocktail sausages.