Q: my step daughter is 17 years old. will be 18 in 6 months. Her mother kicked her out, took her house key,
her car keys, her phone and put her, clothes in trash bags on the porch and said good luck. She has been living with her father and i for a month. Now is telling her she has to come home. my step daughter does not want to go back. there was never any "custody" papers ever done and yes her dad is on the birth certificate. Does she have to?
A: Name on birth certificate does not matter. If the father and mother were never married, and no court ever granted parental rights to father, and did not issue a custody order, then the mother has legal custody. Mother could call the police to get daughter back, but mother could get in trouble for kicking daughter out if children's services got involved -- although forcing a 17 year old to do anything can be a challenge, and at 18, she will make her own choices. The parents should talk and work it out in the best interest of the daughter and to resolve the problems at mother's home.
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