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KimberlyLaw, Lawyer and Real Estate Broker
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4219
Experience:  13 years of experience practicing law.
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My nephew Jake and s mother, who is my niece, have lived in

Customer Question

My nephew Jake and his mother, who is my niece, have lived in my mothers house all of my Jake's life because my niece doesn't want to work and collects welfare instead. Anyway, Jake's father has seen him only a handful of times in his life. Well, about 2 years ago my niece hooked up with his father again and she moved out of the house to marry him because my mother refused to allow that man to live in her house. Jake, who is 17 now, was 15 when his mother got married. To spite my mother, they made Jake leave with them although they had no place to live because Jake's dad doesn't want to work either so he doesn't. They both smoke like chimneys no matter who is around and Jake has asthma and cigarette smoke causes his asthma to act up. After 2 days they realized that they really could not take care of him and Jake wanted to go back to school so they let him come back home. Now lets fast-forward to 4 months ago. My mother has a lung disease called bronchiectasis which she was diagnosed with in 1982. Until this year she has been able to function well and be physically able to take care of her every day living but now she needs help with certain things so she reluctantly agreed to let my niece and that man move in with her on the condition that they live up to the terms that they all agreed to. Since then, there has been some conflict and they are threatening to leave and make Jake go with them and again, they have no where to go and the only money they have is welfare. Since Jake is 17 and going to be 18 in April, how old does he have to be to tell them no that he is not going to leave his home?
I appreciate it if you could let me know. Thank you for your time.
Debbie Dennis
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi Debbie, I am happy to help you out with your question.
Sorry to hear about your situation. You are correct that at the age of 18 Jake has the right to make his own decision where he lives. Technically, and legally, right now, he can not make that decision. Whatever his parents decide he legally is supposed to do.
However, if he were to disobey his parents and live somewhere else, the only way they could enforce that would be to call the police, or go to court and force him to live with them. I find it unlikely that they would go to court, but only you would know if they would call the police.
So even though the law would require him to do what they say, if Jake were to decide not to listen, it is really his choice and he should only do that if he understands the possible outcome of that choice.
The alternative is that you or your mom could go to court and get custody of Jake because his parents can't take good care of him. Then you would have a legal court order. That would take some time and money, and by the time you get it he might be 18 already.
Let me know if you have any follow up questions.
Take care,
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi Debbie,
I see that you received my answer. I wanted to let you know that I am online right now if you have any follow up questions.
If not, please close out the question with positive feedback so that I get credit for my time working with you.
Take care,
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi Debbie,
This question is still open. Please go ahead and close it out so I get credit for my work with you.
Thank you,
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for using Just Answer.
If you don't close our your question then the system will keep your money and I will not get paid for my time working with you.
Thanks so much and take care,