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Running away to live with my Dad

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  • Running away to live with my Dad

    I'm 16 and my parents are divorced. My mom has full custody, but I want to live with my dad. I've tried talking with my Mom about it several times, but she won't let me go live with him. I've also tried talking with legal aid, but they won't do anything to help. I'm thinking about running away to live with my Dad. I live in Oregon, where it's legal to run away, but he lives in Idaho, where it's not. Would I get in trouble with the police once I got to Idaho? Also, would my Dad be charged with kidnapping or harboring a runaway? Is there any way I could accomplish running away and moving to my Dad's without anyone getting in legal trouble?

  • #2
    Re: Running Away To Live With My Dad


    Thank you for contacting us at National Runaway Switchboard. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to gather an outside perspective on this particulary issue. It sounds like a frustrating situation for you. It must be difficult to not be able to come to some sort of compromise with your mother. Have you tried letting her father talk to your mother about these important matters? Does your father have visitation or any legal rights?

    We imagine the divorce must not have been easy and you seeing your father more may help a great deal. Do you think it may upset your mother if she found out you ran to your dad? Running away is not illegal. It is considered a status offense for a minor if you do. However, it is considered "contributing to the delinuency of a minor" if someone harbored you. If a family or friend shelter you without permission, charges can be filed against that person and they run the risk of a misdemeanor charge.

    However, it varies from state to state. It usually comes down to police discretion if your are found. If found, they are expected to bring you home. If your mother files a runaway report with your local police, it goes into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. This makes your report go national. The police in Idaho can take you in if they discovered you are a runaway but it is not guaranteed how they will proceed. They do not have to abide by laws of other states but the police can work together in some cases to figure out how to get you home. It can depend whether they hold you for your mom to get you home or place you in detention until you see a judge. A judge can release you and we can step in to get you home with our Home Free program through greyhound.

    We are not in a position to tell you what to do. We are only here to explore options. We are not legal experts and cannot give advice on any of these matters. We are here to lay it out in a general manner. We cannot speak on specifics for each state but we can offer support and other resouces. We are here for you. We can be reached 24 hours a day if you wish to speak to someone about your situation directly. We are confidential and anonymous. Our hotline number is 1800RUNAWAY. We hope whatever decision you make it is within the context of what is best for you. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Good luck.

    Last edited by ccsmod8; 12-21-2010, 10:04 PM.
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