+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    js757 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2

    Question Legal liability of minor who has left home?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Alabama

    Hi,

    I have a daughter who is 16, turning 17 in a couple of weeks. Lying, stealing, drugs, and alcohol have been an issue since she was 13 or younger. At 13, we went into family counseling to address these issues and I thought they had been resolved after approximately 14 months in therapy. She was discharged by her therapist who was satisfied (as was I) that she no longer needed help.

    Last Wednesday, it came to light that she has not really changed at all; she has just gotten better at hiding what she is doing. I discovered she was stealing seizure medication (Keppra) from my oldest daughter, who will be 21 this year, and replacing it with generic tylenol. As a result of this, my oldest daughter has been sick for nearly two months, unable to work, and having seizures on a near-daily basis. The doctors, being unaware of this, prescribed ativan and xanax as additional methods of controlling the seizures, and these were also stolen by my youngest daughter. This time, she didn't replace it with anything, and it was noticed missing by my oldest daughter.

    Upon searching her room for these things, I found some of the Keppra she had been stealing, along with jewelry, electronics, clothing, and makeup that various members of my family have had gone missing over the past couple of years. I also discovered very expensive clothing, jewelry, and makeup that I did not purchase for her, and she could not have afforded herself, which leads me to believe she is shoplifting.

    When my youngest daughter returned home and found that I had discovered these things, she refused to discuss it and left with her boyfriend. She has informed me that she will not be returning home, and honestly, I don't want her here. I cannot handle the stress of dealing with her behavior any longer.

    From what I understand, I am still legally responsible for her and her actions. She is living with the boyfriend and his parents for now. I do not know what the right thing is here. Do I call the police? Bring criminal charges against her for what she has done? Is there some document I can sign absolving me of any legal responsibility? It is obvious to me that she is unwilling to change her behavior or accept any responsibility for what she has done, so I would like to protect myself legally from the consequences of any further reckless behavior.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
  2. #2
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,050
    You are absolutely still responsible for her until she turns 18. She is not a car you can just sign over. Or a cat you don't like anymore.

    Where is the other parent?

    When you discovered she was stealing, why did you not report it to the authorities? By not reporting it, you were enabling her.
  3. #3
    js757 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2
    I realize she is not a car or a cat - that was an unnecessary statement. I am simply being honest here in stating that I am unable to handle this child any longer. Is there something wrong with me wanting to protect myself legally from any further irresponsible and illegal action on her part?

    Her father is an abusive alcoholic and a deadbeat who has never provided anything for her and refuses to be a part of her life. As far as I know, he has left the state to avoid paying the 13+ years of child support he owes.

    At 13, I chose therapy rather than reporting her to police because I thought that was the right thing to do.

    As for the current discovery of stealing, as I said, this has only all come to light as of last Wednesday, and I simply do not know what the right thing to do is. I am overwhelmed by the situation.
  4. #4
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    The Heart o' Dixie
    Posts
    9,658
    Isis, age of majority in Alabama is 19, not 18.

    I'm not sure if I'd call DHR or the Sheriff (or both, for that matter). You might try DYS, but I think they only deal with the courts.
  5. #5
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,050
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeekess View Post
    Isis, age of majority in Alabama is 19, not 18.

    I'm not sure if I'd call DHR or the Sheriff (or both, for that matter). You might try DYS, but I think they only deal with the courts.
    Ouch, that's right! I guess that's another year for the OP.
  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    46
    What is really scarey is that because of this daughter's thievery, the older daughter could have been seriously hurt.

    I would call the police about the theft and let them deal with her. I know it is really tough love, but it seems appropriate at this juncture.

Similar Threads

  1. Grandmother left money to my minor children
    By pridless in forum Probate and Personal Representatives
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-12-2010, 10:33 PM
  2. minor accident - left contact info and left scence
    By emarkuci in forum Auto Accidents and Vehicle Claims
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-26-2008, 10:09 AM
  3. Legal Rights of a Minor to Leave Home?
    By Ke Nater in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-10-2005, 06:38 PM
  4. divorcing. home is in both names. I left. am i still entitled to half of the home?
    By peacheykeen41 in forum Divorce, Separation & Annulment
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-03-2003, 11:32 AM
  5. legal age to be left home alone
    By tristyn1015 in forum Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and Other Family Law Matters
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-07-2001, 10:29 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.