Guardianship of Minor

questions & answers

Question: Our family is relocting to another state. Our 16 year old daughter is not wanting to go and says "she refuses." We are an average American family and never had a problem with our daughter. She does well in school and my wife and I have always held very good jobs. What are her rights as a minor and ours as parents. She is claiming that if she runs away, she legally cannot be "forced" to go home.

Answer:

If a person is under age 18 in Arizona, he or she cannot leave home without a parent's permission unless he or she is fully emancipated, or the parents have lost their right to parental authority. If a 16-year-old leaves home without permission from a parent or legal guardian, he or she can be prosecuted as an incorrigible child (A.R.S. § 8-201(16)(c)).

Some of the consequences of being found incorrigible include being fined be placed on probation, and being ordered to do community service. The specific charges and consequences are left up to the officer of the court. If the parent cannot control the child, the child can be removed from the parent's supervision. The child may then be placed in an appropriate living place, a foster home or some type or a state facility. Even if the parent does not report the run away, Child Protective Services can become involved if the minor living away from home is not receiving age-appropriate supervision, is engaging in harmful conduct, does not have adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or is living with an inappropriate person. You may want to call one of the following hotlines for more information:

Charter Behavioural Health Arizona Crisis Line 800-242-7837

 Child Help USA Hotline 800-422-4453

Child Protective Services 888-SOS-CHILD or 888-767-2445

Children's Law Center (Arizona) - Volunteer lawyers to help kids with their legal issues are available 602-258-3434 ext. 266

Samaritan Behavioral Health Services 602-254-4357

Teen Link (Various Topics) 800-235-9678

Youth Crisis Hotline 800-448-4663

QUESTIONS

  • Our family is relocting to another state. Our 16 year old daughter is not wanting to go and says "she refuses." We are an average American family and never had a problem with our daughter. She does well in school and my wife and I have always held very good jobs. What are her rights as a minor and ours as parents. She is claiming that if she runs away, she legally cannot be "forced" to go home.

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
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    866-553-0893
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