Q: I need urgent advice on the laws in Oregon regarding child custody
Six months ago my divorce was finalized. I got sole legal custody of my 16 year old, who now lives with me full time. If the child suddenly changed their mind and wanted to live with the other parent, and moved all their stuff out of their home, and into the other parents home without permission, and also without going back and changing the custody agreement, what can I do and what are my rights as her sole legal guardian? Could the other parent get charged with doing this and going against the custody agreement? Can I call the police, what are my rights, and how easily could he and my child get custody changed over to him? Can he be charged with anything? She is close to being 17 years old, but clearly still a minor who cant make these choices on her own. Thank you for advice. I need to know as much as possible about my rights, and what I can do in the short and long term.
A: You are in a tough situation. As between you and the other parent, the other parent has to defer to you being awarded legal custody. But be careful what you wish for because if the other parent refuses to allow your 17 year old daughter to move in then there is nothing stopping your 17 year old daughter from running away! So which is worse? Working with the other parent as to the best solution or being worried sick because you don't know where your 17 year old daughter is? The police have been known to not assist when a teenager runs away but isn't committing a crime other than running away. That's why we have so many homeless youths on our streets. Hopefully the other parent is as concerned as you are and together you can work on some solution. Your daughter will be age 18 soon so do your best to lay a foundation that will keep working when she is a legal adult.
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