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My 16 yr old daughter is pregnant

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by momtopgteen, Feb 17, 2010.

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  1. momtopgteen

    momtopgteen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My daughter is 16, her boyfriend turned 22 in January. We just found out she is pregnant. We are in shock and want to know what the law in the state of VA is regarding this type of situation. We want him held legally responsible for child support, should the need arise and he flakes out on my daughter. If we have to hold the law over his head to finally make him mature and act like the man he is supposed to be then so be it. But I need to know what the law is first.

    Also, what are our rights as her parents? What are our legal rights as far as what we are allowed to demand from either one of them...ie, staying in school, continuing on to college, child support, moving out, etc.

    Thank you for your help! Just want to make sure the right things are done for the innocent in this situation.
     
  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    The law is that when the baby is born, your daughter files to establish paternity, custody and visitation, and child support. She won't necessarily need an attorney for this; the local court-house will tell her which forms she needs (though they cannot tell her how to fill them out).

    You have no rights to demand anything from him, though you do get to basically control your daughter's life until she becomes an adult...with obvious exceptions such as you can't force her to go to college. You have inherent no rights to your grandchild either.

    It's much better to have it all spelled out in a court order - that way your daughter, her child and actually the child's father are protected.
     
  3. momtopgteen

    momtopgteen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. I have searched and am very confused...what is the legal age of consent in the state of VA? Where does our situation fall in the laws for the state? If he doesn't hold up to his responsibilities as the father, how can we legally force him? Do we file charges with police?

    Thank you for your help!
     
  4. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Well, there are two separate issues.

    The first is statutory rape - the age of consent in VA is 18 - and because Dad is over 18, this may become a serious issue. You would be best advised speaking to the police or DA about this.

    Now with regards to Dad's obligations (once they're established), if he doesn't pay his support it is a civil, not criminal matter. Daughter would need to file contempt in family court.
     
  5. momtopgteen

    momtopgteen Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for all your help! I'll post more questions later as I process this info!

    Nancy
     
  6. tpajet

    tpajet New Member

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    I think you need to stop and think about that statutory rape issue for a moment. I understand you are upset, but if he goes to the slammer for this, then he can't possibly be the supportive dad that you are hoping he will become.
     
  7. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    While I agree that as a practical matter Dad being in jail won't help support the baby...this does not, and should not, take away from the fact that an adult who should know better slept with a child and should face the consequences of that action.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No parent should allow a 22 year old pervert to molest a 16 year old child. This 22 year old molester should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A child is unable to give consent and legally allow a molester to ravish them. This is a no brainer. This is a matter for the police and the criminal justice system. This 22 year old bum is a sexual pervert and a felon in waiting (if he isn't already a felon). Forget support and contact the police immediately, as I doubt your young daughter is the only victim in the wake of this evil demon.

    No adult should ever be allowed to molest a child. It is the duty of a parent to protect their children. Do the right thing, inform the police forthwith!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    Oh common Army. A 16 year old girl is a far cry from being a child. A 22 year old is a far cry from being a pervert for having sex with a 16 year old. If he did it here in my state it would be perfectly legal. Save the macho growling for real perverts.

    momtopgteen please listen to me. I've been an attorney in VA this is no joke. Whether you like it or not you are going to have to deal with this 22 year old man for the rest of your life. If you go off half cocked and get him arrested and convicted for this you will have just alienated your future son in law, your daughter and your grand child.

    Do you think your Daughter will forgive you? Do you think the 22 year old will? Do you think your grandchild will think it is ok that you put his/her Dad in jail? Statutory rape could easily involved 3-5 years actual time in Virginia.

    Do you want your daughter dragging your grandchild to see him in prison? Do you want her to marry a man that had to survive prison for that long?

    Forgive me for saying so, but I think the whole idea of getting at the 22 year old is because you didn't guard the 16 year old. It is done. Don't stir in the pot and make it worse. Everyone has blame to go around. You and your husband should have been tighter on the girl, your daughter should have said no, he should not have had sex with her and if he did he should have used protection.

    But we aren't looking backwards here. We are looking forward to the family that is going to exist whether you break it or not. Your daughters best interest, and your grand child's best interest are to have the adults in the family working with the two young parents in the family.

    Embrace him, do it for your daughter, for your grandchild and for PEACE. Not everything has to end up in a bloody war. Believe me, the worst of it is over if he will step up and be the man he should be. Give him some time, if he doesn't hang him. The charges aren't going to go away for 7 years or more.

    I'd remind him of that and tell him to treat my daughter and grandchild like glass.
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I, for one, would make sure he faced criminal charges. He is 22 and knew that what he was doing was illegal. He deserves the consequences. Let him live with the label of sex offender for the rest of his life. The more this sort of thing is brushed off without consequence the more it will continue to happen. Make an example out of him. At his age he isn't going to be able to make enough to support the child anyway, and is unlikely to pay up. It is a headache waiting to happen. Don't count on him for anything.
    When your daughter gives birth it will probably be (should be) reported to social services for investigation due to her age. You don't want to make it look like you approved of this by covering it up. Make the police report and let them do the investigation. Though it is a felony offense, they can consider the circumstances and reduce the charges if he is being responsible. Otherwise the state is going to be picking up the tab for a lot expenses for the child, so he deserves to get nailed for it if he isn't being responsible.
     
  11. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    Moose you speak like a true cop. How many 22 year olds have babies and take care of them? Plenty. The problem here is not that they had sex in my opinion but that she got pregnant. You don't fix that by putting the guy in jail. Like I said, in many states it wouldn't even be a question, 16 is legal. 16 is not young, and innocent. She was just as involved as he was and just as able to lend consent. I realize the state of VA disagrees but I don't. The kid did nothing wrong. He needs to stand up to his obligations.
     
  12. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    What do you know, even VA learns. This act was a consensual act by a 16 year old that falls under the following VA code section:

    � 18.2-371. Causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent, abused, etc.; penalty; abandoned infant.

    Any person 18 years of age or older, including the parent of any child, who (i) willfully contributes to, encourages, or causes any act, omission, or condition which renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected as defined in � 16.1-228, or (ii) engages in consensual sexual intercourse with a child 15 or older not his spouse, child, or grandchild, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. This section shall not be construed as repealing, modifying, or in any way affecting �� 18.2-18, 18.2-19, 18.2-61, 18.2-63, 18.2-66, and 18.2-347.


    So, it's just a class 1 misdemeanor now. I guess the law is finally coming around and recognizing that a 16 year old, while they don't need to be having sex, is not MOLESTED when someone has sex with them. It's just not a very good idea even if they think it is.

    Nancy, the boyfriend is facing up to 1 year in jail and up to $2000 in fines unless they changed that too. Child support is no issue. The Commonwealth will enforce it if need be. Good luck.
     
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A 16 year old girl or boy is a child.

    No adult should have sex with a 16 year old child.

    I don't understand people who excuse adults who molest children.

    It also amazes me that today's nanny state regulates everything to excess, except the protection of children.

    Sure, we make laws that require parents to avoid smoking in the presence of their children, or we require them to sit in booster seats in cars.

    Yet, we enable and assist perverts in the molestation of teenagers and children.

    We all but legalize the impregnation of vulnerable children by minimizing the legal penalties for sexual assaults on kids.

    I thought children to be incapable of consent?

    A woman can say no, and it means no.

    Even though a child can not say yes or no, we limit the liability of the pervert who sexually assaults a child.

    Children can not legally enter contracts, yet some states allow them to say yes to sexual deviants.

    God, please help us all!!!

    It is not macho rumblings that some claim to hear, rather it is the anger of a father and grandfather.

    I watched my sister let a 22 year old pervert, molester, and bum do this to my 16 year old niece.

    Six years later the 16 year old girl is now a crack addict with three out of wedlock babies.

    The 22 year old pervert is in a penitentiary, having been convicted of having sex with five other teenage girls!!!

    This isn't about child support.

    This is about enabling a sexual pervert and his immoral, unnatural, and illegal behavior.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I forgot, Momtopgteen, you asked about your legal rights.

    You have the legal right to have the 22 year old sexual pervert arrested for having sex with your child.

    You, nor can the court force the 22 year old pervert to attend college.

    You can, however, require your child to stay in school.

    You can also have the court order that 22 year old pervert to stay away from your child.

    As to the issue of support, I doubt that you or your daughter will voluntarily see a dime from the 22 year old pervert.

    You and your husband will end up supporting your grandchild, unfortunately.

    I've seen too many cases similar to yours to know that you'll have to parent an infant and a teenager for some time to come.


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  15. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    That is fine... he should still be prosecuted for it. He will probably still have to register as a sex offender too.
     
  16. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    And the taxpayers of Virginia.
     
  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    In addition and indirectly, the taxpayers of the other 49 states!
     
  18. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    Army, my guess is that your grandpa married someone 16 or YOUNGER. It's just silly that we have coddled teenagers in this age and told them they are children until they are 25. The fellow isn't 40 he's 22. That doesn't make him a pervert, it makes him quite normal.

    Your anecdotal story of your niece is certainly sad, but you know as well as I do that there is a lot going on there not just the sex with a 22 year old. Its not that I'm so much in favor of what they are doing, it's enforcing the right response to something bad happening. If this 22 year old doesn't want to take on his duties as a man, then fine, prosecute him.

    But there is simply no reason to put him in jail and pretend that a 16 year old girl wasn't able or willing to give consent. Both parties now MUST grow up. It is not going to do anyone any good to put the man in jail. I've always been in favor of making them marry. Of course the law doesn't allow for such. I'm not saying that he doesn't have to face consequences, just make him face consequences that will hurt the only real child in this scenario, the BABY.
     
  19. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    (and please, bear in mind that outside of the US, the legal age of consent may vary between 14 and 16....)

    (and I'm a Brit. It's 16 in the UK)

    "Pervert" is very subjective. Now while I think in this (American - I've been here for a good 14 years) culture, 16 and 22 is "um...ok, not so much", where I was born and raised it wouldn't really draw more than an "oh gawd I hope they used something".

    It's all about locality - it really is, oft times.
     
  20. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    Ok we gotten off track here. Our opinons do not help. Whether hes a pervert or a young man making bad choices means nothing! The law is quite clear on this regardless of how any of us feel. He has broken the law! If Mom doe snot report the rape someone else will. There are too many mandated reporters the young lady will have to deal with to avoid this. Mom has a tough choice here. Report or dont. If she doesnt and the authority find out about the rape (they likely will) her parents could find themselves in legal trouble or at very least dealing with children's services. We dont know if this young man will help raise and support this child or not. Even if he goes to jail he can still do this if he wishes. OP its your call to make. Either choice has consequences. The legal answers have been provided along with much commentary.
     

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