My daughter who is 16 is dating and having with a 20 year old married man who has a child of his own (not my daughters). I do not consent but her father is ok with it. He left his home wife and kid for my daughter.
Although morally reprehensible, it is not currently illegal for a 20 year old to have consensual sex with a 16 year old in Florida. Sexual activity with a person under the age of 16 is illegal. It is also illegal for any person to engage in sexual activity with a 16 or 17 year old if that person is 24 or older.
I can certainly understand your concern with such a vast age difference. Florida law does not prohibit people of a similar age from engaging in consensual sexual intercourse. You will sometimes hear the term Romeo and Juliet law. Years ago, it was illegal for a person 18 years of age or older to engage in sexual intercourse with a person under 18 years of age regardless of consent. The law currently states that children under the age of 18 cannot give consent for sexual intercourse. There is however an exception for children between the ages of 16 and 18 when they are engaged in sexual intercourse with another person between the ages of 16 and 23.
My advice to any person in the situation you describe, is to wait. There is no need to engage in such activity. Having practiced divorce law and family law for more than 25 years I know the potential for bad outcomes when people have children while they are too young.
Wishing you all the best.
David A. Carroll
Pensacola Criminal Law, and Family Law Attorney
I appreciate the opportunity to answer your question. However, please keep in mind that this answer is based on very limited information and should only be considered for general legal information and not necessarily specific advice to you. By answering this question we have not created an attorney client relationship and none is intended. The best advice I can give you is to obtain legal counsel of your own and spend time to go over all facts, issues, relevant laws, and strategies and make sure your fully understand all of your rights and responsibilities. Again, this answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and none is intended.
A person becomes an adult at 18, the age of majority In most states. Exceptions are Alabama & Nebraska (19), and District of Columbia & Mississippi (21). Until then they are a minor (child), and their parents pretty much control their life, including whom they date. If the parent wishes, they can report it to the police if someone interferes with their control. After reaching the age of majority, the new adult can date anyone, leave home against their parent's wishes, live where they want, associate with anybody they wish, pay their own bills and bail themselves out of jail.
Some state's laws allow minors who have reached the age of consent (16, 17, or 18 depending on which state) to legally engage in consensual sexual intercourse/contact with anyone the same age or older. So dating -- with or without sexual contact -- a minor who is AT or OVER the age of consent is not illegal as long as the parents or guardians are OK with it. In either case, If they are not good with it, they could file police reports that result in charges of "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor", "Interference with Parental Control" or something else (even Kidnapping) that might be appropriate in that particular state. They can also get a No Contact/Restraining Order/Order of Protection against the person.
I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.
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