15 year old daughter/drugs/running away

You have legal custody? She’s been gone since January? She’s 15 yrs old and telling you all these drugs she’s on, contemplating suicide, and skipping school? And you haven’t gone to bring her ass back home yet? Have you lost your mind? Go get her now! Who cares if she gets mad, screams, cries, or throws a temper tantrum? She WILL get over it. Get the poor child some help before it’s too late. I’m sorry, but this is a no brainer to me. When she matures, she’ll thank you for saving her and in turn, you will still have your daughter.

Thank you Soccermom,
Yeah, it seems like a no brainer until you consider the court system and no attorney wants to help you unless you want to spend a fortune (which I have and would prefer not to do again)AND that the legal age in NC is 16 and she can run away to her hearts content and no one but ME will be tracking her down.

Looks like I’m in for a living hell! But I have no choice!

Didn’t you say she doesn’t turn 16 for 6 more weeks? That gives you 6 weeks to get her back with you, doesn’t it? And if you have legal custody, doesn’t that buy you some leverage? I don’t know what the law says about the “legal” age and I didn’t have to deal with a situation like this with my kids thank God. I can only imagine what it must be like, but I do know that I’d be doing everything in my power even it meant spending my last penny to save her life.

Yes, it is 6 more weeks until she turns 16. Getting her back is the easy part…keeping her here is another matter once she turns 16. I am hoping that through the Juvenile Justice system…I can get her in a home or rehab center for 30-90 days. But even those places aren’t in lockdown…she could run away there also.

But you are most definitely right, Soccermom…I’ve gotta do something before she is raped (coulda already happened) or gets ahold of some bad drugs (she says her friend laces his joints with pcp). I am still in shock that in 9 months…my ANGEL turned into a huge mess. My ex has that special gift- touch it and it turns to crap!

I’ve seen an attorney and I’ve talked to a Dept. of Juvenile Justice Counselor. I am as ready as I can be I suppose. I get her back the 22nd of Oct.

I will definitely have you and your daughter in my prayers. I have no doubt it will be a tough battle for you, but in the end at least you will know that you did everything possible to straighten this mess out.

Yep! Thanks for the prayers!!! I sure have been persistent with those myself!

Dear John 3 16:

Greetings. Even if she turns 16, she is still under the jurisdiction of the state and the court can mandate that she has moves back in with you and gets some counseling, which she clearly needs. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

[i]Originally posted by JanetFritts[/i] [br]Dear John 3 16:

Greetings. Even if she turns 16, she is still under the jurisdiction of the state and the court can mandate that she has moves back in with you and gets some counseling, which she clearly needs. Thank you.

Well…I’m just checking back to let anyone know what happened. I DID bring her back to my home. She was very upset with me. I took out a complaint on her with the Dept. of Juvenile Justice and she was in the court system as an Undisciplined Juvenile for being uncontrollable and admitted drug use at her dad’s house. She had mandatory drug testing, mandatory counseling and a focus group once a week for other Undisciplined Juveniles. In addition to this, I was also taking her to school in the morning and picking her up because she insisted that she wasn’t staying with me. She was also horribly disrespectful at home and wasn’t taking her troubles seriously (she wrote to a friend, "apparently I have a “drug” problem and I’m in trouble with “the law” )and it was taking alot of hours from me at work since all that was required was during working hours. So I checked out some placements for her and decided on a baptist children’s home. The judge granted me sole custody until our trial in December. In December, she had turned 16 and of course told the judge in chambers that all the stuff she wrote on www.myspace.com was just showing off and she wasn’t really doing drugs and having sex and all the other stuff she wrote about. At least the court system gave my daughter’s case two whole days of testimony. Apparently, a boyfriend nicknamed “JohnKillz” whose profile says “I’m homicidal, there’s more but I hate you and I’d like to meet hawt moviestars with lots of diamonds and blow” and talk of cutting off her lips and slitting cow bellies open was not enough to keep the judge from returning her to her dad. We still have joint custody and I have visitation…but she refuses to visit me. So I have destroyed my relationship (at least for now) with my daughter by doing the right thing and even though I will go to through the risk and finacial and time investment to raise her correctly…the judge gave her back to a dad who is sociopathic. Great! But at least everyone in my ex’s family is aware of why I was concerned (since no one would listen and i DID try to talk to two family members) and ex was ordered to get a psychological evaluation done on her (copy of results to me), continued counseling, random periodic drug testing (copy of results to me) and to supervise her use of the internet.

Court will not render any ideal solutions regarding family law. It is just not possible. I didn’t want her in a home for children either, but I knew I was not going to be able to teach her respect for the law or the seriousness of her situation without some intensive help. I wouldn’t be able to keep her from running away if she chose to and the school was having trouble keeping her off the internet communicating with her drug friends back at her dad’s house. I wanted her home with me, but that attitude was causing us all too much stress. Oh well.

Wow… this scares me. I am currently going through a similar situation. We have shared custody of my 16yr old with me being the primary parent. Over the past 2 months, my son has been caught with drugs for the second time plus some other issues. When i confronted him, it didn’t go well. The next day he went to his mother’s for her visitation and he hasn’t been back since. Without going into great detail, her household is not a good place for him (other child there with molestation issues, her drinking and past drug use issues, etc…). I know, there are 2 sides to every story… but just trust me here. She has even recently brought him back to my neighborhood when she thought I was out of town-- she sat in her car behind a dumpster on the next street and allowed my son to walk to the house to ‘collect’ some more stuff. She even took him to the bank and withdrew all of his money out of the custodian account that I had set up for him and there is a fraud investigation going on at this time (I know the bank messed up here as well, but its just the point that she did it).
I thought that I was going to have a pretty easy time if this ended up in court for the reasons above plus the fact that she is breaking the current agreement. her defense is that the 16yr old WANTS to live with her now (of course he does, he can get away with all of this over there). I thought that a judge would not even listen to him based on his poor choices recently (drugs, etc…). but after what you just described, I’m not feeling so confident…

by the way, this would be heard in Charlotte, if that makes a difference.

Any thoughts???

Oh wow…I wish I had some encouragement. I thought mine was a slamdunk, too.[:(] The only thing you may have on your side is that I sent my daughter to a home to live (not that I wanted her there, but I thought that would squash the authority issue right out of her and court would back me up) and you may be able to manage your son at home with you? I don’t get it…adults complain about how unmanageable kids are these days but then they don’t make the common sense decisions that would let kids know that they really AREN’T in control. But possibly this is totally a legal issue of when a child is 16 in NC…he/she can actually make that decision?

And yes, there are two sides to every story, but I had proof! Another issue is that not alot of adults are too up-to-date on computer use and maybe he didn’t understand the way myspace.com works. Yet the judge ordered that my ex do everything that I was already doing…so I am still really confused by the decision???

I just wanted to clarify that I had sent my daughter to a baptist home for children in their emergency care housing. Their mission is to reunite families in crisis. My daughter had 24/7 care and access to counseling and there was required family counseling weekly for 2 hours. It is a good program for teens out of control and they do not push the christian faith onto a person (my daughter now claims to be an agnostic). Their emergency care program is for a 60 day maximum.

I have legal custody of my daughter in NC but in 1/05…I decided to let her try living with her father in SC. I thought she would see that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. It backfired!!

Even though he uprooted her again this summer to Maryland (to be near the latest girlfriend) she does’t want to come home. I am also VERY, very concerned because she has started to use drugs, drinking and talks about suicide constantly. When drugs aren’t available…she ingests things like Robitussen and morning glory seeds. She told me all this herself. She also said she sees no way out other than suicide. She runs away overnight at her dads and skips school when she feels like it (he writes her a sick note). BUT…she said she would run away if I make her come home.

I’m so confused!!! Is it in her best interests if I make her come home even though she turns 16 in about 6 weeks? I HAVE to try something or I can’t live with myself! She was an honor student here and every teacher’s pet…and beautiful. Her father even leaves the country and leaves her in the care of her friends or his girlfriend.

I WANT HER BACK but I want it to WORK and not have her hate me forever! What do I do?