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Teenage Problems/Legal age to move out


My friend is currently living in an abusive home. We have been talking and she really wants to move out. But we aren't sure when she can legally move out in Montana because she is only 17 and 1/2. My parents have told her she can move in with us until her dad can come and get her. Her dad is leaving on trip to Costa Rica. He can come get her when he gets back. But her mother and step father keep abusing her. She has called the cops and they cant do anything because of her age, and by the time they get to court it wouldn't matter anyway. Can she move in with me with her dad's permission?


I am not an attorney and will answer this based on providing you the best answer via opinion only. First, define 'abuse.' Verbal, physical? If she is being abused, calling the cops is not the only alternative.  Child Protective Services or Department of Human Services will check on cases reported.  Meaning a legitimate complaint has to be filed.  Once it is reviewed they will determine her removal from the home, if it needs to happen.  If she is living with her mother then that is the custodial home.  If her mother has full custody then the dad would generally not be able to make decisions on your friend's behalf.  One should NEVER file a false claim with any child protection services, as they do not take lightly to those and can end up in lots of trouble! SO, what to do, what to do?  Just be a great friend and wait on her dad to come in and do his part.

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Diana Dickinson


I specialize in Juvenile Crime (Property Crimes - stealing from home, shoplifting, autotheft, joyriding, burglary, etc.) Juvenile Drug Use/Abuse (Prescribed or unprescribed ADHD, Xanex, Weed, etc.) Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention. I do not provide legal advice, however I can point you to the laws in your state regarding consequences of your illegal actions or someone else's. I work face-to-face with juvenile offenders, both pre-adjudicated and adjudicated. I am the gap filler of statistics otherwise unheard of by the justice systems. I am the fly on the wall, seeing and hearing things that teens do not share with their parents. I then point them in the direction of helpful social services.


I am a statewide director of programs to address criminal issues that juveniles encounter. I find programs and implement them as well as provide training to professionals. I also work with youths throughout the various stages of their lives.

Extensive history of training by the Department of Justice, local universities, and Office of Juvenile Affairs. I am also a Certified District Court Family & Divorce Law Mediator. (I am NOT an attorney. Please do not confuse the two.) I am also certified in the area of Domestic Violence and a certified trainer for Healthy Relationships. If you reside in Oklahoma, and you are interested in training or free services, please contact me.

Awards and Honors
Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center's Volunteer of the Year for 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Court referred clients as well as walk-ins from the general public.

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