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I'm almost 18 in Alabama and engaged can I leave

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  • I'm almost 18 in Alabama and engaged can I leave

    I'm almost 18, engaged, graduated and I want to leave home. My parents say they will call the cops and report me as a runaway. Can they do that? And if they do how much trouble will me and my fiance be in? He turned 19 in june. And I turn 18 in 7 days. We will have been together 7 years in October.
    What are some other options I can take if they do?

  • #2
    Hello there, thanks for reaching out today. That seems really stressful that your parents say that they will call the police if you leave. Here at NRS we truly want to help during this difficult situation.

    Alabama's state majority age is 19, meaning that 19 is the legal age you can leave home without parental permission; which is a year older than the federal majority age of 18. So in Alabama, it depends on whether your local police department considers the age you can leave home to be 19 or 18. From our experience, some police departments in Alabama will not take a runaway report for 18 year olds leaving home; while some might so that is not a guarantee. If your local police department will not take a runaway report for you at 18, your parents cannot legally forcibly keep you home. If they do take a runaway report for you, they might return you home if they find you. Due to your age they might take a runaway report for you and do a safety check rather than return you home. The best way to know how your police department would respond is to call your non-emergency police number and ask if they would take a runaway report for you if you left home at 18.

    To answer the question about what trouble your fiance could get into, there is something called "harboring a runaway" which is a misdemeanor charge your parents could attempt to press against him if you are found by police at his house. It is always a risk if your parents are able to file you as a runaway; however, with your age and the fact that you two are engaged, it seems like it would be hard for them to press those charges.

    There might be some options for you if we knew more about your situation. If you call or chat us, we can get the full details of your situation and try to brainstorm some options for you. You might call out to police to see if they will let you leave home at 18 first. If they say you can, you would be able to leave without getting into any legal trouble.

    Best of luck!

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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