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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34532
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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my 19 year old son has been staying with his 16 year old girlfriend

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my 19 year old son has been staying with his 16 year old girlfriend and her parents, they have been together for 3 years. Her parents have kicked her out of the house, they are staying with me now. her mom says she will sign a paper that says she can move out. My question is, if they do get an apartment together can my son get into trouble because she is 16 even with her parents permission?
Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience in criminal law.

There are a couple of things to be aware of (for your adult son)

1. The age of consent for sexual relations is 16. If she is at least 16, and is consenting to sexual relations, your son would not be subject to statutory rape charges. That is good.

2. Ohio does not have "emancipation laws" there is no way for he to go to court and have court emancipate her...that is unless they marry or she enlists into the military. At that point she is emancipated an no longer a minor.

Since she is a minor, her parents are legally responsible for her care and wellbeing.

And that lead to the next issue. Under Ohio Revised Code 2919.24, it is a crime to "contribute to the delinquency of a minor"

This law basically states if an adult helps make a child "unruly" they can be criminally prosecuted.

What is "unruly"?

The law defines that as

As used in this chapter, “unruly child” includes any of the following:

(A) Any child who does not submit to the reasonable control of the child’s parents, teachers, guardian, or custodian, by reason of being wayward or habitually disobedient;

(B) Any child who is an habitual truant from school and who previously has not been adjudicated an unruly child for being an habitual truant;

(C) Any child who behaves in a manner as to injure or endanger the child’s own health or morals or the health or morals of others;
(D) Any child who violates a law, other than division (C) of section 2907.39, division (A) of section 2923.211, division (C)(1) or (D) of section 2925.55, or section 2151.87 of the Revised Code, that is applicable only to a child.

So I would NOT move in with this child if they are not married or she is not otherwise emancipated (by enlisting in the military). If he does? He runs the risk of prosecution for contributing to her delinquency

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we live in Iowa not Ohio... does this change your answer?

Ahh...sorry...let me pull the code for IA

IA is actually better...well, it is the same in many respect. The age of consent is the same. And the laws for delinquency similar (I will post that below...the one of concern is the one about "immoral behavior" since arguably if they are living together and engaged in sexual relations outside of marriage that is least as far as the criminal law is concerned)

The one difference for IA is that they have an emancipation law. So she can emancipate. If they move in together, and she files to emancipate and her parent(s) support that? Then I would expect the court to approve it.

So if she files for emancipation, then I would not think this will be an issue.

I will post the law for that below...she would do well to have a local attorney file this for her

Here is the law on contributing to delinquency of minor

It shall be unlawful:
1. To encourage any child under eighteen years of age to commit
any act of delinquency defined in chapter 232.
2. To knowingly send, cause to be sent, or induce to go, any
child under the age of eighteen to any of the following:
a. A brothel or other premises used for the purposes of
prostitution, with the intent that the child engage the services of a
b. An unlicensed premises where alcoholic liquor, wine, or
beer is unlawfully sold or kept for sale.
c. Any premises the use of which constitutes a violation of
chapter 717A, or section 725.5 or 725.10.
3. To knowingly encourage, contribute, or in any manner cause
such child to violate any law of this state, or any ordinance of any
4. To knowingly permit, encourage, or cause such child to be
guilty of any vicious or immoral conduct.
5. For a parent willfully to fail to support the parent's child
under eighteen years of age whom the parent has a legal obligation to

Here is the law on emancipation

1. A minor who desires to become emancipated may file a petition
for an order of emancipation in juvenile court if all of the
following apply:
a. The minor is sixteen years of age or older.
b. The minor is a resident of this state.
c. The minor is not in the care, custody, or control of the
2. A petition filed pursuant to this section shall contain the
a. The petitioner's name, mailing address, and date of birth.

b. The name and mailing address of the petitioner's parents
or legal guardian.
c. Specific facts to support the petition including but not
limited to the following:
(1) The minor has demonstrated financial self-sufficiency,
including proof of employment or other means of support, which does
not include assistance or subsidies from a federal, state, or local
governmental agency.
(2) The minor has demonstrated an ability to manage the personal
affairs of the minor.
(3) The minor has demonstrated an ability and commitment to
obtain and maintain education, vocational training, or employment.
(4) Any other information considered necessary to support the
d. Any one of the following:
(1) Documentation that the minor has been living on the minor's
own for at least three consecutive months.
(2) A statement explaining the reasons the minor believes the
home of the minor's parents or legal guardian is not a healthy or
safe environment.
(3) A notarized statement that contains written consent to
emancipation by the minor's parents or legal guardian.
3. The court shall hold a hearing on the petition within ninety
days of the filing of the petition. Notice of the hearing, with a
copy of the petition attached, shall be served by personal service on
the minor's parent or legal guardian at least thirty days prior to
the hearing date. Any other parties shall be notified as provided by
the rules of civil procedure for service of an original notice.
4. The minor may participate in the court proceedings on the
minor's own behalf, or may be represented by the minor's own counsel,
or the court may appoint a guardian ad litem on behalf of the minor.

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