Legal Question in Family Law in Rhode Island

I lost my home and going to have to couch hop till I save money can my 16 yr old son move into friends house there will be parents or can I get in trouble legally he wants to stay in school system we reside in rhode island

Asked on 11/13/13, 8:29 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Christopher Pearsall Law Office of Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire

Your question is a bit too general to answer from every perspective or area of law.

If you allow your son to stay with the friend, and the parents of the friend agree to it, then it might work out okay. However, you are still responsible for your son and his behavior and his actions and your friends parents might be able to be held responsible for your son in some instances as well if he causes harm or damage of any sort to any person or property.

With respect to you getting in trouble legally, if you have placement of your child by a court order then you should have the power to allow your son to stay with the friend as long as you understand that simply by living with the friend's family for a while you are still responsible for your son.

Can you get into trouble legally? That question is too broad. There is always the chance depending upon circumstances that may occur and unfortunately none of us can see into the future.

If your son doesn't go to school, there may be truancy issues. If you don't make sure that your is fed and taken care of (which is your responsibility and not the friend or the friend's parent) then DCYF may charge you with neglect or some other violation.

If you have joint legal custody of your son with his father, you could potentially be found in contempt of court if you don't advise the boy's father of the homelessness because this affects the well-being of the minor child.

There are too many "what if's" here that could happen. These are only a very few instances.

I'm sorry I am unable to be more helpful but you actually have several questions melded together here and the situation is too broad to provide any specific legal advice. In truth, there is always a chance that you could get in trouble legally depending upon the facts of whatever circumstances arise on a going forward basis.

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Answered on 11/13/13, 9:21 am

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