Will the lawmake a 16 year old return home from a visit to a relative’s house if they do not want to leave?

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Will the lawmake a 16 year old return home from a visit to a relative’s house if they do not want to leave?

Our niece from PA does not want to return home after summer vacation. Will she legally be forced to return? 

Asked on July 23, 2011 California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she will.  She is a minor child under the care and guardianship of her parents.  Unless you in PA are going to go to Court to obtain guardianship and there are compelling reasons that you wish to do so - such as abuse - then she will have to go home.  At 16 she can testify at a hearing and the court will give weight to her testimony in making their determination.  "My Aunt is cooler or less strict" is not a compelling reason here. The only othe thing that works is if she attempts to emancipate herself but each state varies on what they allow and she would need a plan to show the courts that she has a job, place to stay, enrolled in school, etc.  Good luck.


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