Clinton, IA asked in Juvenile Law for Iowa

Q: I am a 17 year old in the state of Iowa. 18 in March. If I ran away would I be forced to come home?

I dropped out of school to work three to two jobs when my mom got sick. Back to a good full time job with $350 a week. Her boyfriend molested me and there wasn't enough evidence to arrest him so he moved back in and I moved out with my grandma. But she is just like my mom. My friends family would take me in. I won't have a car because it is in my moms name Even though I bought it. But if I ran away would I be forced to come home?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen Douglas Lombardi
Stephen Douglas Lombardi
  • West Des Moines, IA
  • Licensed in Iowa

A: You'd better stick with Grandma until you are 18. You may not like Grandma, but so long as her house is safe, secure, warm, you have bed and there is food on the table - do your chores, go to work and re-enroll in school. Dropping out of school is never a wise decision. You have your entire life ahead of you and working as a waitress or some other "always-on-your-feet" job quickly gets old. I handle a lot of cases for injured workers who do not have a high school education or even a GED. They have a tough road to navigate. My own son did what you did, but then he enrolled in Alternative High School. After graduating he worked doing collection work. It didn't take long for that to get old, but he stuck with it and enrolled in DMACC nights. He graduated from DMACC and that proved to me he would do the work. And so he was back on my dime enrolled at ISU in business. He graduated and asked me about law school. I warned him against it. But probably like you he was stubborn and he applied anyway. After getting in, he actually graduated. And today he is a licensed and practicing lawyer. The fact you are writing to the lawyers' website asking for legal advice shows you have a brain. Use it. Go talk with a couple of waitresses, pick a few who are middle aged and who dropped out of school; then ask them if they could do it all over again, if they would stay in school, go to college or trade school and learn a skill - rather than move dishes for a living. Don't waste your life because of mistakes adults make. Those are their mistakes, not yours. You can prove them wrong by making something of yourself and learning how to earn a lot more than $350.00 a week. When I played baseball I never hit a home run; yet I had one of the best batting averages in the league. You just should adopt my motto - just get on first. You can steal your way around the bases. And you can prove them all wrong, by doing what is right and succeeding.

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