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My daughter just turned 16 even though thats the vermont age of consent can she legally date someone over 19?

Saint Albans, VT |

Do we have any legal recourse if we don't want her to? I mean 21 or older is very old for a high schooler.. other than proper parenting are there any recourses ie legal that we have? Can we interfer if both parties have intercourse and its consensual? Or is it not statuory (sp) because she is 16... seems as though the adult could get in trouble as well.. and is he allowed to transport, and have her in his home against our wishes as shes a minor if she consents to be 'in his custody/company' moreover do we have the legal authority to keep her at home/deny permission to go certain places as described? please advise..

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Attorney answers 3


You are right. I'm a parent, I wouldn't want my 16 year old to date (or have sex with) a 21 year old. Fortunately, in CA our laws are more restrictive. In VT, the age of consent is 16. Here's the law:

Title 13 V.S.A. § 3252.[84]

Sexual assault:

§3252(c) No person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 16, except:
1.where the persons are married to each other and the sexual act is consensual; or
2.where the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the sexual act is consensual.

However it rises to 18 if the person is related to the minor or in a position of authority over him.

(d) No person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 18 and is entrusted to the actor's care by authority of law or is the actor's child, grandchild, foster child, adopted child, or stepchild.

No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia



What about legality of him transporting her, hosting her in his home w/o our consent? What about legality of our telling her she must stay home? Do we have a legal leg to stand on? Is there any way in which he could get in trouble? ie if he buys her alcohol can we have him charged.. if she refuses to stay home can we keep her home legally and or call the police to force her to come home?

Anthony Michael Solis

Anthony Michael Solis


See Mr. Rose's excellent comment below. You are her legal guardian, but this may be one of those situation where the force of law or your custody over her may push her away, cause her to rebel or, god forbid, run away. I'm no therapist, but you may need better alternative than the law, which is a blunt instrument in this context, not finely enough tuned to keep her on the side of the righteous while preserving your relationship. . . and authority. Good luck, I empathize with you.


As a parent, you are your child's legal guardian until she turns 18. You are responsible for her actions and her personal welfare until then. You have the legal right to disapprove of her friends and of activities you deem unsuitable, even if they are allowed by law. If you child persists in unsuitable friendships despite your wishes, you can potentially seek a restraining order. An experienced local family law attorney could advise you regarding that issue.

All of that said, it is very unlikely that legal action, such as calling the cops or getting a restraining order on your daughter's boyfriend is going to resolve the issues you face. These options are very likely to destroy any relationship or trust your daughter has in you. What would be much more likely to result in your daughter understanding your legitimate concerns would be to engage in family counseling or therapy with her. An experienced therapist who specializes in teens and parents can work wonders.

Anthony Michael Solis

Anthony Michael Solis


This is an excellent response, and unfortunately true.

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor


Agreed, an excellent response.


Such a relationship is legally permissible, but you, as parents, are totally responsible for her care until she turns 18. If you suspect or know that they are having sexual relations, you certainly want to have your daughter on birth control. It sounds like it is time for a family meeting and for you to exercise your responsibilities. If she is totally out of your control, the State can take her into custody through child protective services.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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