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    I just turned 17 years old and I have a boyfriend that's 22. My mom approves of our relationship but my dad doesn't but my dad hasn't been in my life for 2 years now. My mom wants to move out of state now and I want to stay with my boyfriend but I don't want my dad to try and send him to jail. What could I do to make everything legally? My mom approves everything and she willing to let me stay with him I just want to make sure he won't get in trouble

  • #2
    Hello,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us for help! It sounds like you are in a tough situation, and we are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. We are not legal experts, however we can give you some general information. It sounds like your mom is okay with your relationship with your older boyfriend, and is willing to let you stay behind when she moves and live with him, but your dad is not. You mentioned that your dad hasn't been in your life for two years, but not if he still has any custody or guardianship rights over you. Since you are under 18, you are still considered a minor. This means that if you were to leave home without permission from a legal guardian, you could be reported as a runaway. Your dad could call the police if you move in with your 22 year old boyfriend, however without knowing the details of your parents' custody arrangement, we can't say whether the police would take a runaway report from him. Something else that complicates this is age of consent laws. The age of consent means the age at which a youth can legally consent to sexual contact. This ranges from 16-18 depending on the state in which you live. This link has an interactive map where you can find out what the age of consent is where you live: https://sexetc.org/action-center/sex-in-the-states/. If you are under the age of consent in your state, and you are having any kind of sexual contact with your boyfriend, your boyfriend could be charged with a sex crime against a minor. If you are under the age of consent and your dad reports that you are living with your boyfriend, police may press charges against him. Your boyfriend could also be charged with a crime for harboring a runaway if your dad successfully files a runaway report. Because of the age difference between you and your boyfriend, he could be at risk for serious criminal charges for taking you in. If you would like to talk through your options or you need help with resources, don't hesitate to give us a call. We can talk through your situation and help you come up with a plan to deal with your situation and stay safe. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
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