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moving out at 16

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  • moving out at 16

    i live in california & i was just wondering what the police would do if i moved out without my mother’s consent. i don’t have a job currently & i wouldn’t leave until i knew for sure i could live on my own 100%. i’m not exactly in the worst situation with my mom, i have been a bad kid in the past but my mom took my birth control a couple months ago & hid it from me, refusing to give it to me. i’ve been sick a lot recently so that’s just another reason for her to tell me i’m lazy amongst other things. but none the less the point of my question is what would happen if i were to move out.

  • #2
    Hi, and thanks for contacting NRS. I’m sorry to hear that your situation at home is not good, and that you’re having issues with your mom.

    At 16 you’re still a minor, so if you leave, your mom can report you as a missing youth or runaway; meaning that if the Police find out where you are, they have to take you back home. Running away is just a misdemeanor; but whoever you’ll be staying with could get in trouble: harboring a minor without parental consent is considered a crime.
    If you get a job and can support yourself financially, you could consider emancipation. You can see details about it in California here: And here’s the number for Legal Services for Children: 1-888-292-4252; they can help you understand if that’s an option for you, and if so, how to go about it.

    It sounds like it’s hard to communicate with your mom... Have you thought about having a good conversation with her about the situation, maybe with the help of someone else? For example, having another adult (someone that you trust and that she respects) with you guys while you talk, to help keep things neutral and objective. We’ll be happy to help if you like the idea; just call us at 1-800-runaway, and we can conference her in. We’d also be glad to provide other resources if you think they might be useful, like counseling referrals… we’re here for you, ok?

    Be strong, NRS
    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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