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Silva
06-19-2017, 03:26 AM
If a 14 (or maybe 15) year old leaves his parent's home to live with an adult sibling, without getting parental consent first, what legal repercussions will there be?

14yo has left because home is a toxic, controlling environment, but there is no apparent, legally recognized abuse happening, so calling the police or child services isn't something he (or the older sibling) would consider worth their time.

If his sister, who is a stable adult (married, owns a home, has good income, no criminal history or mental or physical health problems or really any imaginable reason to suggest she'd be a poor guardian) comes and gets the 14yo to come and live with her, and the parents involve the police or child services to get their son back, what response would there be?

Would they insist the 14yo return home, whether he wanted to or not? Would they say "meh, sister seems stable and able to support him and he doesn't want to go home, so we're not going to get involved?" If the parents tried to accuse the adult sibling of kidnapping, how would that unfold? Both siblings would be willing to attest to a toxic, controlling home environment at the parents and that the sister only came at the 14yo's request--she didn't take him against his will, if that makes any difference.

My goal here is for the 14yo to stay with his older sibling and not have to go back home, but I also want there to be lots of conflict and stress in the situation and am considering the parents trying to get the police involved as a way of doing that.

Alternatively, by what process would the sister set herself up for legal guardianship (so that she can sign papers, enroll him in school, etc.) if the parents go passive-aggressive instead of aggressive, and decide to "let" the 14yo stay with his sister but won't cooperate with anything or anyone as a way of punishing her/them?

This is a contemporary US setting, probably Oregon, but maybe WA or CA (still haven't decided where sister lives, in-state or out-of-state--that'd probably complicate things too?)

MaeZe
06-19-2017, 03:51 AM
Depends on the state and if the parents take action. In some states runaways can be taken home by the cops, in other states they don't intervene.

Look up runaway laws by state. (https://www.google.com/search?q=pledged+the+table&oq=pledged+the+table&aqs=chrome..69i57.4823j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=runaway+laws+by+state)

The sibs could seek a court order for change in custody, but courts have a heavy bias toward parents. Unless the parental situation was so severely toxic as to put the young teen in danger, revoking parental custody is a hard court case to win.

If you have a child, you can petition to be an emancipated minor, I think in most states you have to be 14 or older. Again, check state laws.

Fruitbat
06-19-2017, 04:04 AM
If there's no evidence of abuse or neglect, I don't think a fourteen-year-old can just pick where she'd rather live, even if it's a better home.

cornflake
06-19-2017, 05:17 AM
If a 14 (or maybe 15) year old leaves his parent's home to live with an adult sibling, without getting parental consent first, what legal repercussions will there be?

14yo has left because home is a toxic, controlling environment, but there is no apparent, legally recognized abuse happening, so calling the police or child services isn't something he (or the older sibling) would consider worth their time.

If his sister, who is a stable adult (married, owns a home, has good income, no criminal history or mental or physical health problems or really any imaginable reason to suggest she'd be a poor guardian) comes and gets the 14yo to come and live with her, and the parents involve the police or child services to get their son back, what response would there be?

Would they insist the 14yo return home, whether he wanted to or not? Would they say "meh, sister seems stable and able to support him and he doesn't want to go home, so we're not going to get involved?" If the parents tried to accuse the adult sibling of kidnapping, how would that unfold? Both siblings would be willing to attest to a toxic, controlling home environment at the parents and that the sister only came at the 14yo's request--she didn't take him against his will, if that makes any difference.

My goal here is for the 14yo to stay with his older sibling and not have to go back home, but I also want there to be lots of conflict and stress in the situation and am considering the parents trying to get the police involved as a way of doing that.

Alternatively, by what process would the sister set herself up for legal guardianship (so that she can sign papers, enroll him in school, etc.) if the parents go passive-aggressive instead of aggressive, and decide to "let" the 14yo stay with his sister but won't cooperate with anything or anyone as a way of punishing her/them?

This is a contemporary US setting, probably Oregon, but maybe WA or CA (still haven't decided where sister lives, in-state or out-of-state--that'd probably complicate things too?)

If no one does anything, no one will do anything, but if the parents want to go after it, it'll be a thing.

If they call the cops, and the cops go find her living with her sister (yes, in or out of state would matter, but it'd depend on what the parents did), presuming she lives close, and they're all fine, the cops will likely say it's a domestic dispute and they need to call a lawyer, but depends on the cops, the state...but mostly, I'd be surprised if they wanted to get involved.

Parents call a lawyer to get her back, that's a court case, and a judge will appoint a guardian ad litem, order assessments, and, most importantly, ask the kid what she wants, so kid is likely going to live with the sister barring some weirdness.

If she doesn't get that ordered, or sister can't afford a big custody fight, the girl could go for emancipation, which she might get some pro bono help with, dunno, depends. A fourteen-year-old who wants to live with someone reasonable will usually get to, unless there's some reason otherwise.

Silva
06-19-2017, 05:51 AM
Okay, I wasn't sure he'd officially be a runaway if he was staying with a family member and wasn't actually missing. Looking at him as an actual runaway does give me better ability to research this.

Thanks, all. :)

Cyia
06-19-2017, 05:59 AM
Wouldn't this be considered Custodial Interference, if the parents wanted to bring in the authorities and Sis didn't surrender the kid?

(INAL, btw)

Siri Kirpal
06-19-2017, 06:04 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Just one point: I lived with a toxic controlling parent (who boasted about putting his kids first). Controlling parents, in my experience, don't let go. I would expect the parent(s) to go after the child. Though I wouldn't expect them to charge their older child, unless that child was the official family black sheep. They would go after the AWOL child, but pat the older kid on the head for taking the younger kid in. (But throwing tantrums privately at her that she didn't contact them.)

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

cornflake
06-19-2017, 06:21 AM
Wouldn't this be considered Custodial Interference, if the parents wanted to bring in the authorities and Sis didn't surrender the kid?

(INAL, btw)

I don't think so, as the kid started it by running away and the sister wasn't in any custody dispute to begin with? I believe that's more like if you refuse to turn over a kid for agreed custody arrangement, though I dunno someone couldn't be charged otherwise or anything.

Fruitbat
06-19-2017, 07:31 AM
Huh. I just googled "laws on teenage runaways," and "harboring a runaway," and etc. It all does seem to vary quite a bit by state. Interesting topic.

http://legalbeagle.com/12299236-consequences-harboring-runaway.html

https://www.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/law_trends_news_practice_area_e_newsletter_home/runaway.html