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Leaving home

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  • Leaving home

    Im currently 16, 3 months away from my 17th birthday. I would like to know if i can move out at 17. I dont want to live with my dad or my mom and stepdad. I currently live with my mom and we frequently get into altercations. I have fought with my mom and step dad at the same time (not arguing. Acctually fighting) i want to live with my grandma but my mom is extremely jealous of her and told me if i tried to live with her she would make my grandmas life hell. I deal with depression and a few other mental illnesses and used to self harm. She has threatened to send me away to a therapy hospital out of town for months. My boyfriends family has told me many times i can move out at 17 but i thought that was only if you were legally emancipated.? Please help. If i cant leave i will end up moving about 300 miles away with my dad and i dont want that but staying with mt mom is not healthy for me.

  • #2

    18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.

    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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