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The 16 year old is being emotionally abused and controlled and psychologically abused.
Can they leave their parents and go to live with their grandparents without their parents consent?

2 Answers 2

7

You do not specify jurisdiction, but in general a minor must live where his legal guardian sees fit. He cannot decide by himself where to live.

If there is a suspicion of abuse, then police and/or social services must be notified si they get involved to evaluate the situation and possible solutions.

2

(Michigan, USA)

A family court judge can take the preferences of a child into account: "The child’s preference, if the child is of sufficient age."

The issue one would have is what is "of sufficient age."

The sufficient age question is normally based upon the 'maturity' of the child. Which is yet another vague statement. A family court judge has a great amount of leeway in determining where a child will live. They also have leeway in determining whether or not to take the child's preferences into account.

A child can not decide for themselves where to live, until they turn 18. At no time before that, is a judge required to take the child's wishes into account. A major determining factor in deciding to do so, is whether or not the wishes are reasonable.

Those wishes should be well thought out and able to be voiced in a coherent manner. If a child doesn't want to live with one parent because "there are too many rules, and my (other parent) let's me stay up late and have a dog" those probably won't be viewed as reasonable.

However, if the one parent is willing to help the child with their homework every night, and the child can state that succinctly, it would be more likely to be viewed as reasonable and then taken into account.

Unfortunately, at least in Michigan, like I said at the beginning, a Judge is simply not required to take the child's wishes into account, at any time, if they don't want to.

Until the child is actually 18, or is emancipated, the judges determination remains sacrosanct.

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