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Thread: Texas Moving out at 17.

  1. #1

    Post Texas Moving out at 17.

    I know it is legal to move out when 17, and after 24 hours if you leave when parents say no, they could file missing persons report. But, If I move out, can I enroll myself into school or have my boyfriend do it? Or do I have to go through paperwork?

  2. #2
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    FYI
    Texas specific info on emancipation of minor
    http://www.janesdueprocess.org/emancipation.htm

    http://www.jlc.org/home/mediacenter/...ts/FAQEMN.html
    Scroll down to section dealing with emancipation of minor and schooling.
    Last edited by elklaw; 05-30-2005 at 10:45 PM.

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    ***TEXAS***
    Unfortunately, it is not "legal" to "move out" of your parents house when you are 17 without their permission.
    First, your parents, as managing conservators, have a statutory right under the Texas Family Code (Chapter 151.001) and Texas Probate Code (Chapter 767) to have physical possession of their unemancipated child and designate their primary residence. They also have the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child. Therefore, they may lawfully tell you "no" when you wish to leave or move out.
    Second, your parents do not need 24 hours to file a Missing Person report. They may file one once they determine you voluntarily left without the intent to return. However, Texas Attorney General Opinion GA - 0125 determined that an "unemancipated" 17 year old may not be reported as missing if the parents know the child's whereabouts. If you are reported as missing and you are identified by a peace officer, they have a lawful duty to take you into possession and return you to your parents. Texas Attorney General Opinion JC - 0229 addresses any questions regarding a Missing Person who is 17 and unemancipated.
    Reference Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 63
    Third, there is a process for becoming a legal adult at the age of 17. It is known as "Removal of Disabilities of Minority." (Texas Family Code, Chapter 31) It is a difficult process if your parents don't agree with your wishes or if you don't have the money to hire an attorney. Until you become a legal adult, you may not enter contract, therefore preventing you from enrolling yourself in school. Your boyfriend can't do that for you either.
    Talk to your parents. See if they will approve your wishes of becoming a legal adult. If they don't, you might want to contact an attorney, but not wanting to live with your parents doesn't necessarily warrant terminating their rights. The previous post from "Elklaw" has some websites that offer more information.

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    Default Confused...

    I live in Texas and my son who will be 17 in August says he does not have to live at home if he doesn't want to. I tried to find out what the law says about this situation but I did not get very clear answers.

    According to the juvenile probation officer I spoke with, in Texas a 17 year old CAN move out but if they do something stupid their parents are still legally liable until the kid turns 18. Also, they warned me not to lock my son out of the house because according the law, at 17 he can stay out as long as he wants and his parents cannot deny him entry to their home or they will be breaking the law. The person I spoke with did not know if I have a legal obligation to provide food and clothing to my 17 yr old if he leaves home. They suggested I contact an attorney.

    I am very frustrated with this situation. My son has not had any legal troubles yet but it is only a matter of time because I know he smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol and may be using pot. He thinks he is smart because he hasn't gotten caught and that I should be proud of him for not have a criminal record.

    The situation is coming to a head because his father and I are moving this summer (still within Texas) and my son does not want to relocate. However, I don't want him to move out if I can be arrested or sued because of something he does when he is not living in my home.

    I would appreciate any information about the family code in Texas, especially if you can provide a source I can check. What I have been told so far is inconsistent with some of the information presented in this thread.

    Thank you!

  5. #5
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    I'm sorry that a juvenile probation officer misinformed you.

    A seventeen year old (unemancipated, unmarried, and not in the military) may not move out of their parents house without their parents explicit permission. Therefore, if parents give their child permission to move out of their house, they may lawfully do so under those circumstances. Section 151.011 of the Texas Family Code states that a parent of a child has the right to have physical possession and to designate the residence of the child, among other rights and duties (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statu...tm#151.001.00).

    Regarding liability, a parent OR other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for any property damage caused by that child. If a child moves out of their parents house and the parents entrust the duty and control of the child with another person, that person is then liable for negligent conduct by the child (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statu...htm#41.001.00).

    Regarding a curfew, parents may allow their unemancipated 17 year old child to stay out as long as they please. However, if a parent wishes to not allow their child to leave or have them home at a certain time, the child must obey the parents wishes because the parents have a statutory right to have physical possession of of their child and the duty of control and reasonable discipline.

    If your child voluntarily leaves the care and control of their legal guardian without the intent the guardians consent and without the intent to return, they may be reported as a "Missing Person" once it has been determined that their whereabouts are unknown and meet the previously stated circumstances, among others (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statu...htm#63.001.00).
    (http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/jc/JC0229.pdf)
    (http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/ga/ga0125.pdf)

    If your child wishes to live on their own or in the care of another, you and your child should consider a process known as "Removal of Diabilites of Minority." You should only consider this if it is what you, as a parent, want. A minor whose disabilites are removed has the capacity of an adult except for specific constitutional and statutory age requirements. A child may also petition the court without your permission, although it is a difficult process without the help of their parents (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statu...htm#31.001.00).

    If your child needs a reality check, I'm sure the local police department would be more than willing to offer a hand. It seems his actions will lead him down the wrong path. Also, you should get in contact with that probation officer you spoke to and complain to their supervisor for giving incorrect statutory information. Even worse, it was a juvenile probation officer!

    I provided the links for you or your child to see the physical information. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texasmom
    I live in Texas and my son who will be 17 in August says he does not have to live at home if he doesn't want to. I tried to find out what the law says about this situation but I did not get very clear answers.

    According to the juvenile probation officer I spoke with, in Texas a 17 year old CAN move out but if they do something stupid their parents are still legally liable until the kid turns 18. Also, they warned me not to lock my son out of the house because according the law, at 17 he can stay out as long as he wants and his parents cannot deny him entry to their home or they will be breaking the law. The person I spoke with did not know if I have a legal obligation to provide food and clothing to my 17 yr old if he leaves home. They suggested I contact an attorney.

    I am very frustrated with this situation. My son has not had any legal troubles yet but it is only a matter of time because I know he smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol and may be using pot. He thinks he is smart because he hasn't gotten caught and that I should be proud of him for not have a criminal record.

    The situation is coming to a head because his father and I are moving this summer (still within Texas) and my son does not want to relocate. However, I don't want him to move out if I can be arrested or sued because of something he does when he is not living in my home.

    I would appreciate any information about the family code in Texas, especially if you can provide a source I can check. What I have been told so far is inconsistent with some of the information presented in this thread.

    Thank you!
    they didnt misinform you mam, i moved out at the age of seventeen and a paece officer couldnt take me anywhere. they called the attorney general and even he said they couldnt take me out of they home i was in. it is true that you can get in trouble for locking your seventeen yr old son out. only because it would pretty much be abandonment. its hard to explain. im sorry about your son though.

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    they didnt misinform you mam, i moved out at the age of seventeen and a paece officer couldnt take me anywhere.
    THAT IS WRONG!

    "pash_78382", unless you have a JD from an accredited university or are certified as a peace officer in the state of Texas, DON'T BE MISINFORMING PEOPLE OR PROVIDING INCORRECT LEGAL INFORMATION. YOUR INFORMATION IS INCORRECT.

    The information I have provided is 100% accurate for the state of Texas. PERIOD.

  8. #8

    Default I have a friend who wants to move out at 17. Can she?

    My best friend has been wanting to move out of her house for a while now. She's only 16 right now, but she will be 17 in February and she is planning to move in with her boyfriend and his parents. Since she doesn't want to check up on it to save her own butt, i thought i would being a good friend. I want to know if it is legal for her to move out. She's told her mother that she can and there is nothing she can do about it, and i think she [her mother] believes her, so can she if her mother does anything against it. I only ask because her mother has pretty much given up on her, can she still get anyone in trouble if her mother does nothing about her leaving and reluctantly agrees? How long does it take to get back a response?
    PLEASE HELP US, THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS HAT PEOPLE SAY TO CONTRADICT WHAT IS REALLY RIGHT. I JUST WANT TRUTHFUL ANSWERS.
    ~Thank You
    Last edited by Confused in Texas; 01-19-2006 at 10:05 AM. Reason: continuation of thought

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    Until she is 18 she is legally under her parents control. The answer is no, she cannot, unless she has her parents' permission.

  10. #10

    Default I'm not sure but...

    I have another question, I turn 18 in 2 months and then i graduate from high school, but i am hoping that i can move out while i am still enrolled in school. Is this possible without causing any turmoil in the legality dept?

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    Yes, you may move out once you turn 18 and remain enrolled in school. If it is a private school, you may encounter a few problems; although it is something that should be resolved in a simple manner.

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    Default Update on my situation - Texasmom

    Thank you to everyone who replied to my questions.

    We moved in June 2005 and my son agreed to move with us and try out the new school. His father and I told him that if he did not move with us we would report him as a "Missing Person" and that we would only give him food while he was at our house.

    In November the situation went south. He was in trouble at the new school for sleeping in class all the time and not turning in assignments. He resented that we were limiting his tv and computer access in an effort to help him focus on school. He announced he was moving out. It was easier for me to deal with the situation since I was familiar with the Texas laws regarding minors. We told him that we would not physically try to stop him from walking out the door, but that if he left we would have to report him as a run away and that anything he took with him would be reported as stolen property. We reminded him that we would not give him money for food if he left home without our permission.

    Several hours later after making a big show of getting all of his laundry washed and packed up, my son asked us if we would discuss a compromise. He asked what he would have to do for us to give him permission to live with someone else and take his computer and game system with him (without us reporting it stolen). We calmly told him we thought that moving out at 17 was a poor choice, but we agreed to let him take his stuff with him if he would at least get his GED first. We explained that we would still have to officially report him as a "Missing Person" to reduce our legal liability if he did something dumb and got sued, but we knew from checking with the police departments in our new town and our old town that the cops in both areas could care less about trying to make a 17 yr old go back home. (Read my original post to see the incorrect information the juvenile probation officer told us regarding 17 year olds).

    The funny thing is that he has since gotten his GED and announced several 'moving out' dates, but he is still very much living at home and is currently looking for a job in our new town. I think he was wanting to storm out the door in the middle of a heated argument so he could justify his poor choice, but we never let the matter escalate on our side of the interaction. Also, some of his friends that he was certain would take him in told him no because their parents didn't want any trouble with the police, just in case the police did try to make him come home.

    Anyway, Thank you, ACc083, for providing good information and the web links I could use to verify the accuracy of what you posted! This whole mess has been much easier to cope with because we were accurately informed.

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    Don't report him as a "missing person" report him as a RUNAWAY. While it's true that may police officers don't like to get involved when the child is close to 18, if you push the subject, they HAVE to. That is what we pay them to do. I understand the mentality of not want to turn it into a reccurring problem of the child leaving, the parents clling the police, police returning the child just so that the kid can runaway again. However, running away from home is considered a crime in Texas. If your son doesn't want to be returned home or continues to leave after you have forbid it, he can always go stay at juvi until his 18th birthday!

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    Ceara...

    Just a few corrections:

    1. A "missing person" is the proper term for this situation; to be more specific, a child may be designated as a "missing child." Nowhere is the term "runaway" used in Chapter 63 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

    2. "Running away from home" is NOT considered a crime in Texas. Crimes are designated by their punishments (Class A, B, and C Misdemeanors, State Jail, First, Second, and Third Degree, and Capital Felonies). A child who voluntarily leaves the care and control of their custodians without their permission and without the intent to return is considered a "status offender", not a "criminal."

    3. Juvenile detention is not an option for a missing child. Chapter 63 of the CCP outlines the possible solutions for this situation. They are: 1. Return the child to the person entitled to the possession of that child; and 2. If the person entitled to the possession of that child is not available, deliver the child to the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.

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    Runaway is a subcategory of missing person. When reporting a person as missing, if at all possible, the missing person should receive the proper designation (IE-runaway, stranger abduction, voluntarily missing, etc.)

    If a child is a habitual runaway or it can reasonably be considered that they will repeat the offense, they can be detained by the state or at the request of the parents until such time as the minor reaches the age of majority, they are no longer considered at risk for recidivism or by the request of the parent or guardian.

    Granted, this is NOT the usual course of action that is taken and it is normally discouraged by the authorities, it is an option. Juveniles are not afforded the same considerations under the law that apply to adults.

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    Runaway is a subcategory of missing person
    - Really? Show me where this is in the Texas statutes.

    If a child is a habitual runaway or it can reasonably be considered that they will repeat the offense, they can be detained by the state or at the request of the parents until such time as the minor reaches the age of majority, they are no longer considered at risk for recidivism or by the request of the parent or guardian.
    - Really? Show me where this is in the Texas statues.

    By the way, "recidivism" is commonly defined as relapsing into criminal behavior. It has already been established that it is not a crime to runaway, therefore, the child may not be detained in a juvenile detention center as part of the solution. A child will either be returned to their parents or released to the TX Dept. of Protective and Regulatory Services.

    I stand by my information and assert that the information is accurate as per current Texas statutes, not personal interpretation or agenda.
    Last edited by ACc083; 01-28-2006 at 11:10 PM.

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    Default Wondering for some help

    I moved out January 23rd from my parents home after they said that if i felt i could not abide by their rules. So i decided to move out. I can abide by their rules but they left the door open for me to leave. so i did. Im trying to withdrawal from my private school, but need parental signature to be officially withdrawn. my plan is to witdrawl and take my GED test feb. 18 and the 25th.
    But my dad says he is legally available to not sign the papers and have a police officer come and get me and bring me home and force me to goto school. but if im understanding it correctly. it they allow me to move out are they still able to bring me back.

    any help and any suggestions would be amazing. email me at kozmo51488@yahoo.com

  18. #18

    Default Moving out at 17

    In a couple months I will be turning 17 and I am seriously looking into moving out of my house and away from my parents. I will have graduated high school by the time I've turned 17 so dropping out isn't a concern. I've read all the posts on this site but I've done a lot of research and would like anyones comments on it. Texas Law under the Juvenile Justice Code, Family Code title III states that a child "is a person 10 years of age or older and under 17, or a person between 17 and 18 who engaged in or is alleged to have engaged in certain conduct before becoming 17" (which isn't me) and that a missing child is defined as "a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child's legal custodian." My parents know of where I plan on moving to but I dont have their permission but since they know where I am going, they can't file me as a missing child meaning the police cannot come and get me? In an opinion given to Senator Shapiro by Attorney General Greg Abbott in November 25 2003, the letter concluded with a summary stating "A child, including an unemancipated seventeen-year-old, who voluntarily leaves the care and control of his or her legal custodian without the custodian's consent and without intent to return is not a "missing child" under Code of Criminal Procedure chapter 63 if the custodian knows where the child is located. If the custodian determines the child's location after filing a missing child report and notifies the investigating law enforcement agency, the agency has no duty to continue the investigation or take the possession of the child and return him or her to the custodian." So if I leave and tell them where I am going to be living, they can't do anything right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvergirl2026
    In a couple months I will be turning 17 and I am seriously looking into moving out of my house and away from my parents. I will have graduated high school by the time I've turned 17 so dropping out isn't a concern. I've read all the posts on this site but I've done a lot of research and would like anyones comments on it. Texas Law under the Juvenile Justice Code, Family Code title III states that a child "is a person 10 years of age or older and under 17, or a person between 17 and 18 who engaged in or is alleged to have engaged in certain conduct before becoming 17" (which isn't me) and that a missing child is defined as "a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child's legal custodian." My parents know of where I plan on moving to but I dont have their permission but since they know where I am going, they can't file me as a missing child meaning the police cannot come and get me? In an opinion given to Senator Shapiro by Attorney General Greg Abbott in November 25 2003, the letter concluded with a summary stating "A child, including an unemancipated seventeen-year-old, who voluntarily leaves the care and control of his or her legal custodian without the custodian's consent and without intent to return is not a "missing child" under Code of Criminal Procedure chapter 63 if the custodian knows where the child is located. If the custodian determines the child's location after filing a missing child report and notifies the investigating law enforcement agency, the agency has no duty to continue the investigation or take the possession of the child and return him or her to the custodian." So if I leave and tell them where I am going to be living, they can't do anything right?
    I really don't know whether they can do anything or not. However, I do know that until you are 18 you are a minor, which does give your parents some rights.

    You appear to be well educated and intelligent, have you looked into the possibility of legal emancipation? Since you will have graduated HS you will be able to be employed well enough to prove to the court that you can support yourself. If your state allows for emancipation petitions, I would think that you would be a good candidate for it. Check it out, and good luck.
    Xena

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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by pash_78382
    they didnt misinform you mam, i moved out at the age of seventeen and a paece officer couldnt take me anywhere. they called the attorney general and even he said they couldnt take me out of they home i was in. it is true that you can get in trouble for locking your seventeen yr old son out. only because it would pretty much be abandonment. its hard to explain. im sorry about your son though.

    i am 17 in 1 day i turn 17 on 2-7-2006 and i want to move out because i hate my step mom, she has a son and we get treated differently and i am tired of it. my grandparents said they would take me in if it is legal can someone help me with the situation.
    my dad wont let me get a job and grow up i am ready to start doing things for my self
    Last edited by trishab1989; 02-06-2006 at 07:38 AM.

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    Default So What is it then?

    So if I moved out to a friends house without my parents knowing, can the police force me to go back to my parents? ASking them for any kind of emancipation or asking to move out is out of the question, but I am not sure how much longer I can stand to be under their roof. i need to know if I will get in trouble or If my friend's mom will get in trouble for taking me in asap!

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    A 17-year-old, in Texas and every other state, is a minor. You cannot legally leave home without parental consent or emancipation. If you do, your parents can file a police report. If the police refuse to bring you home, your parents can ask for a court order requiring them to do so. If anyone takes you in or assist you, then they can face charges such as harboring a runaway, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, etc.

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    Default My 16 yr old step daughter has runaway with a 19 yo boy

    I have a similar situation..a 16 yr old step daughter is a repeat runner. She would be "captured" by us or the police, sent to juvenile detention where we were required by law to retrieve her within 24 hours. Juv Det hates to see her because they know they have to deal with her for 23 hours 50 minutes. Then we bring her home, she sleeps during the day and leaves at night. This went on for far too long.

    We sent her to her father's care in another state where she convinced him to allow her to return to our state to be with her boyfriend. I know you all are going to blast me and her mother, but we have struggled with her behavior for some time. We have 2 little kids at home who we prefer not to witness the arguments and police visits. We know she is into some drugs, she has spent time in rehab (at a very high expense), seen counseling but was of no help.

    What is the problem? Well, it is the 19 yr old boyfriend. He is a known user/abuser/dealer of drugs. We currently have a runaway report, she is in our area, but we cannot locate her. The boys parents are helpful, but since the step daughter has returned to the area, both her and the boy have made themselves scarce.

    The city police have had it, too. They ask when she turns 17, does that make a difference in our ability to report her as a runaway? How do the laws change at that age? I know our child is having sex with this 19 yr old. I call the District Atty, but was told the city police have to file the complaint. What can we do?

    Thanks for any input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StepDad#1
    I have a similar situation..a 16 yr old step daughter is a repeat runner. She would be "captured" by us or the police, sent to juvenile detention where we were required by law to retrieve her within 24 hours. Juv Det hates to see her because they know they have to deal with her for 23 hours 50 minutes. Then we bring her home, she sleeps during the day and leaves at night. This went on for far too long.

    We sent her to her father's care in another state where she convinced him to allow her to return to our state to be with her boyfriend. I know you all are going to blast me and her mother, but we have struggled with her behavior for some time. We have 2 little kids at home who we prefer not to witness the arguments and police visits. We know she is into some drugs, she has spent time in rehab (at a very high expense), seen counseling but was of no help.

    What is the problem? Well, it is the 19 yr old boyfriend. He is a known user/abuser/dealer of drugs. We currently have a runaway report, she is in our area, but we cannot locate her. The boys parents are helpful, but since the step daughter has returned to the area, both her and the boy have made themselves scarce.

    The city police have had it, too. They ask when she turns 17, does that make a difference in our ability to report her as a runaway? How do the laws change at that age? I know our child is having sex with this 19 yr old. I call the District Atty, but was told the city police have to file the complaint. What can we do?

    Thanks for any input.
    You are being given the run around: First, as the parent of the minor you have every legal right (and responsibilty) to report the 19 yr old and DEMAND that an investigation be done. Second, you also have every right to file for a protective order against the 19 yr old, so that the next time he contacts your daughter IN ANY WAY- he can be arrested.
    I also had alot of problems with my son while he was growing up, all you can do is your best and then when they become an adult just let them go knowing that it is out of your hands. Good luck.
    Xena

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    Question confused

    okay i have a question i have a friend she is 16 yrs old and she is dating a 20 yr. old girl but its nothing sexual... and she wants to move out asa she can because her parents are mistreating her because she is gay... can she leave at 17 and will her gf get in trouble if she does?? (note her gf is not pushing her to leave she actully wants her to stay home and build a relationship with parents)...

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    okay i have a question. my friend is 16 and she's with a 19 year old boy and she wants to move out but they're not legally allowed to be with each other right? okay another question she wants to move out because her mom doesn't support the fact that they're together and she thinks that shes allowed to move but she just wanted to make sure she couldn't get in trouble or the boyfriend.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by brown13
    my friend is 16 and she's with a 19 year old boy and she wants to move out but they're not legally allowed to be with each other right? okay another question she wants to move out because her mom doesn't support the fact that they're together and she thinks that shes allowed to move but she just wanted to make sure she couldn't get in trouble or the boyfriend.
    You didn't name your state, but I'm assuming you're in TX since the title of this thread is 'Texas moving out'.

    They are legally allowed to DATE if her parents allow it. They are not allowed to have sexual contact (which is not limited merely to intercourse). No, she cannot move out at 16 unless she’s been emancipated. No judge is going to emancipate a minor so that she can live with her adult boyfriend. Just FYI, if she runaways (and she would be picked up and returned home) and boyfriend takes her in, then he could very well find himself facing charges for it. At 18, she can move anywhere she wants without parental permission.
    Last edited by pty; 04-17-2006 at 08:04 PM.

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    Default What is "reasonable discipline"?

    I've seen and heard discussions about reprimanding a child using "reasonable discipline". As a step parent, my step child has threatened to have me charged for "unreasonable" disipline if I so much a slap her across the face. I find this hard to believe. If I cannot do that, am I expected to spank her on the behind? I truly believe that allowing her to back talk, curse, threaten, etc and NOT disciplining this child is only hurting her by allowing her to believe that behavior is appropriate. I'll take any thoughts OR legal definition of what is reasonable if any exists.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StepDad#1
    I've seen and heard discussions about reprimanding a child using "reasonable discipline". As a step parent, my step child has threatened to have me charged for "unreasonable" disipline if I so much a slap her across the face. I find this hard to believe. If I cannot do that, am I expected to spank her on the behind? I truly believe that allowing her to back talk, curse, threaten, etc and NOT disciplining this child is only hurting her by allowing her to believe that behavior is appropriate. I'll take any thoughts OR legal definition of what is reasonable if any exists.

    Thank you.
    Generally, step parents are not allowed to ever lay a hand on the child for the purpose of disipline. Grounding the child, taking away possessions and/or priviledges and threatening to tell the parent is pretty much all you can do.

    A child should never be slapped in the face by ANYONE. Parents have been charged with abuse for doing this to THEIR OWN children.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StepDad#1
    I've seen and heard discussions about reprimanding a child using "reasonable discipline". As a step parent, my step child has threatened to have me charged for "unreasonable" disipline if I so much a slap her across the face. I find this hard to believe. If I cannot do that, am I expected to spank her on the behind? I truly believe that allowing her to back talk, curse, threaten, etc and NOT disciplining this child is only hurting her by allowing her to believe that behavior is appropriate. I'll take any thoughts OR legal definition of what is reasonable if any exists.

    Thank you.
    Noone should EVER be slapped across the face. What would be your reaction if someone slapped you? If someone slapped me, they better run.

    Even those that believe in spanking (and I do under certain circumstances) realize that 16 is too old to be spanked. If she is as wild as you say, she would probably turn around and hit you back. And as a step parent, you should never physically discipline her. That just opens up a whole new can of worms for you, and I seriously doubt that it would have any positive effect on her.

    Grounding (no phone, no computer, no anything), hard work around the house (think lawn care, heavy cleaning), etc are pretty good alternatives, but really, her mother needs to be the one to handle this.

    Have you and her mother discussed putting her in a program like Boys' Town. There is one for girls, but I can't think of the name right now. (It may actually be called Girls' Town) It's like a reform school, but it is specifically for children that are completely beyond the control of their parents. It is NOT one of the "boot camp" programs. It's been around for a long, long time and works really well. Most kids are extremely well grounded and successful in life after spending time at the schools. Most students live at the facility and get extensive therapy, responsibility training, and help along with a full educational curriculum. They also handle drug and alcohol problemed kids. I know that scholarships are some times available if you cannot afford it. If I were you and your wife, I would seriously consider this option.
    HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
    (unique up on him)
    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
    (same way)

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