What are the risk of legal issues if a 20 year old male dates a 16 year old female?

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What are the risk of legal issues if a 20 year old male dates a 16 year old female?

Her parents are divorced and she stays with her mom. Her mom accepts me and her hanging out but I am unsure of her dad.

Asked on October 3, 2011 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Listen, it really all depends on what you mean by "dating."  Going to the movies?  Out to dinner?  Those type of dating events are perfectly fine given your age difference and the fact that she is a minor and you are considered an adult under the law. But should the relationship get physical in any way I would watch your step.  Even if her Mother "accepts" you now, if something goes awry with her daughter she can turn on you in an instant and have you arrested on a myriad of offenses from child endangerment to sexual assault to rape.  If convicted of any charge dealing with a child and molestation you could be forced to register as a sex offender the rest of your life.  And her Dad is really an unknown here too, correct?  Think twice.  No, think three times here.


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