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  1. #1
    phooey is offline Junior Member phooey is on a distinguished road
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    Can a 16 year old leave home if living with a supervising adult?

    Complicated situation. My girlfriends daughter will be 16 in January. Her father died 10 years ago and since that time (she was 5) she has been a handful. When I met my girlfriend 4 years ago me and the daughter hit it off right away. I have been told she has never opened up to a man before then and we are both amazingly close. I have two children of my own, one girl, one boy. The four of us get along great. Her mother however has something seriously going on in her head the last 1 1/2 years. She has been emotionally abusive to my two kids to the point where I haven't had them over at her house if I'm not there. To her own daughter it makes me sick and feel helpless. She continuously rubs her fathers death in her face as if it happened yesterday. She turns a blind eye to actions that most parents would consider something a 15 year old should NOT be doing. I step in without my girlfriends knowledge and take it up with the 15 y/o daughter. We work it out every time and it seems to make our bond even stronger. She has even called me dad a few times. I took it as a slip of the tounge since I know she is sensitive in this area but we both are able to talk openly about it. She's even had me take her to the cemetary on occasion because she does not want to go with her mother. I repectfully escort her to the place and stay if she wants or I walk away if she wants. Very awkward for me but I can take it - after all, it's her we are talking about.

    We all live in NY State, Niagara County. Now my question. The daughter is under the impression that when she turns 16 in January she is leaving home. She wants dearly to live with me and my children. Frankly I would love to have her and give this girl a stable, loving home. She has told me if she can't live with us then she will run away. Legally since I am not even blood relative what can I do? The entire biological family (her side) supports this 100%. If she did run away I am confident I would find her but if I keep her at my house am I breaking the law? I don't want to get all ugly and have her mother in court. Between me and her biological family we could all prove her unfit but in my opinion this disrupts the 15 y/o's life even more.

    Her mother told me two days ago in an argument after I stated she was the only one out of all of us that can't get along. Her reply was "problem solved...take ALL the kids and all of you can go live happily ever after and stay out of my life"!

    I have for the most part stayed in a relationship with her for the last year due to the kids but I'm out....simply cannot do this anymore! Her daughter, me, and my kids all still get together and do stuff.

    I just don't know what to do at this point. My lawyer tells me court, law gaurdians, bla bla bla.....then again, he is a lawyer of course he wants to go to court!

  2. #2
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    Curt581 is offline Wannabe AARP member Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute Curt581 has a reputation beyond repute
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    Been in your situation.

    In the eyes of the law, you are a stranger to this girl. You have no legal standing whatsoever. You don't even have enough to petition for custody. A legal relative would have to do so.

    If the girl runs away and comes to you, you are obligated to notify the police. If you keep her and/or conceal her presence, you could be charged with Interference with Custody at minimum. Serious business.

    Do not attempt to enlist the girl's other family members in trying to have mom declared unfit. It will blow up in your face. Those that agree with you now, to your face, will switch loyalties in mid-stream, after you've dropped thousands in attorney fees. Blood is thicker than water. Mom could assign "placement" to you, but she can also revoke it at anytime, for any or no reason as she sees fit.

    My advice... don't even go there. It's too easy for Mom to turn the whole situation into something nefarious as to your intentions toward her daughter. Any hint of a shadow of a possibility of such a thing will be scrutinized six ways from Sunday.

    Stay on good terms with the girl if you want, letting her intiate contact. Let her know she has a place to stay after she turns 18.

  3. #3
    phantasm is offline Veteran Member phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute phantasm has a reputation beyond repute
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    If your GF will voluntarily allow the daughter to live with you, then it would be fine, otherwise she needs a court order of some sort (most likely through NYS family court) in order to leave home. On her 18th birthday she will be able to leave home without being a runaway. Under the age of 18 she would be a runaway/missing (at least by NYPD's definitions) if she decides to leave without permission.
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  4. #4
    phooey is offline Junior Member phooey is on a distinguished road
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    But...but..but....

    That's about what I have been expecting to hear. I can only imagine if my daughter was the one wanting to go live with someone else. As far as me "enlisting" the girls family....they came to me and asked. I pretty much told them something similar like they would have to get gaurdianship or custody and then let her stay with me and/or them or whatever works. The girl is surprisingly level headed considering all she has been through and continues to go through.

    So what is all this I hear about kids leaving home at 16 and being emancipated (or however you spell it)? I can't think specifically but I know I've heard of these cases. My brother left home at 16, dropped out of school, etc. I don't know the specifics as I was 18 living in Oregon so I never caught the whole story.

  5. #5
    mcsap is offline Veteran member ( retired) mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute
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    Talk to a lawyer ( occasionally they are needed ) and see if mom will give you written authority/permission to care for and support for the girl with no strings attached. If you really want to do this , dont ask for " support" from mom.

    Offer in writing to provide proper care and guardianship , insuring that she will attend school , that she will have a proper and decent plave to live.

    The only thing that would concern me is health care. She would likely NOT qualfiy under your insurance and someone will have to PAY for any medical/dental issues etc out of their own pocket. Are you willing to take this responsibility ? ( or can she stay on mom's ins...assuming that she has some ) ??
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  6. #6
    phooey is offline Junior Member phooey is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsap View Post
    Talk to a lawyer ( occasionally they are needed ) and see if mom will give you written authority/permission to care for and support for the girl with no strings attached. If you really want to do this , dont ask for " support" from mom.

    Offer in writing to provide proper care and guardianship , insuring that she will attend school , that she will have a proper and decent plave to live.

    The only thing that would concern me is health care. She would likely NOT qualfiy under your insurance and someone will have to PAY for any medical/dental issues etc out of their own pocket. Are you willing to take this responsibility ? ( or can she stay on mom's ins...assuming that she has some ) ??
    I think she just might let her move in with us based on her current mindset. I wouldn't dream of trying for "support"...hell, I can't even get that for my own kids that live with me lol. This girl does get Social Sec from her father that passed but I'm not in the least concerned about money. I assumer her mom will keep that as she does now either way.

    For insurance or medical expenses that's just part of having kids. If she can't stay on the policy she is on or if I can't put her on mine then I'll just have to pay for something. I'm sure there is some way to get insurance for her if I needed to. I already paid all her dental work and braces since I've been wit her mom so really not much difference unless there was a hospitalization issue.

    Basically if her mom pitches a fit and won't let her move I'm screwed anyways from the sounds of it. I'll be searching for her after she runs away and then what...take her home, search again in a few weeks, repeat for two more years. Sometimes the laws just aren't in anybody's best interest but I also understand the other side.

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