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Legalities of leaving home

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  • ccsmod3
    Re: Legalities of leaving home

    Dear Cammy,

    We appreciate your input on our bulletin boards. It is great to see others taking an interest in at-risk youth. We noticed the link you provided also mentions The YouthBuild Program which we are also familiar with at the National Runaway Switchboard. Thanks again!


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  • Cammy Pattinson
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by ccsmod6 View Post
    There is nothing legally that parents can do to prevent a youth from leaving home. However, some states do have at risk youth programs to assist parents who are experiencing problems with youth.
    These youth programs target teens going down a path of self-destruction/life failure. They help teens to make better decisions that affect their lives and empowers them to fulfill their dreams, develop new attitudes, behaviors and choices. Here is a comprehensive online resource for anything you need to know about at-risk youth.

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  • ccsmod6
    Re: Legalities of leaving home


    Thanks for getting in touch with the National Runaway Switchboard. We are sorry to hear about your mom passing; that must have been and is still pretty tough to deal with. It seems like things are a little chaotic at home and you’re just looking for a stable, caring, and loving home. It sounds like you’re a very responsible and mature individual. We appreciate you contacting us to provide you with information so you can make an informed decision.

    In general, running away is not illegal but would be considered a status offense since you are under the age of 18. A runaway is a minor who leaves home without receiving permission from one’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s). If parents are aware of the youth’s whereabouts, some Police departments may refuse to file a runaway report but this absolutely varies and is left up to the discretion of that specific police department. If a runaway report is filed, it will remain active in a national law enforcement database until the minor is found. Police usually detain youth once they are found and contact the parents to make arrangements for the youth to be returned home. There is nothing legally that parents can do to prevent a youth from leaving home. However, some states do have at risk youth programs to assist parents who are experiencing problems with youth.

    Attending family court to seek emancipation or the transfer of guardianship are options that exist for you. The outcome of both will vary and be left up to the discretion of the judge. Also, harboring charges vary as well. However, your father could pursue those charges after filing a runaway report for you. Sometimes it is best to the contact the non-emergency dispatch for your local police department to try and obtain information regarding possible harboring charges.

    We hope the information provided is helpful! Remember you may contact us for additional assistance at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Our hotline is confidential, anonymous, and available 24 hours 7 days. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you the Best of Luck!

    Thanks again for contacting us and you are truly welcome.

    ~ NRS

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  • Unregistered
    Guest started a topic Legalities of leaving home

    Legalities of leaving home

    First off, I am 16 years old in the state of Nevada, and have no reasonable access to an attorney, so therefore find myself running into legal questions regarding leaving my house.

    For a little background info, allow me to share that my parents were divorced when I was very young, and my mother had almost sole custody of me, my dad seeing me about a weekend a month. At 10, my mom passed, and I was separated from my step-brothers & half-sister when my dad decided he wanted to fight for custody of me. This has been a cause for a lot of turmoil in my house, more than likely at both of our faults. Many times in the past my father has had the cops/CPS called on him, and his extreme emotional abuse towards me documented. I am capable of proving severe hardship within our home. Numerous attempts at reconciliation have been made, to no avail, followed by offers from almost ALL of my family members for me to go stay with them, as everyone is aware of his instability, often times having been on the short end of it themselves. However- my dad's not having any of it. He kicks me out, telling me if I end up at anybody's house he "doesn't approve of" (mind you this is his own flesh and blood), I'll be reported as a runaway, only to demand that I come home within the next few days. Of course, I always come back. I want no legal ramifications from his deciding to report me.

    The last couple months show that this predicament is only worsening. So, my questions are:
    -If I inform my dad of where I'm going, can he even report me as a runaway? If not, what can he do, and what happens to me as a result? Because, quite frankly, I have no desire to run the streets, but rather would just like to finally have the safety and love of a far more reasonable family whom I can trust.
    -If I do get reported as a runaway, what exactly happens? Do the cops take me home? Can I basically just leave again? Will I face charges?
    -Can I simply tell family courts here in Las Vegas that I would like to go live with another responsible relative, seeing as I'm 16, and them more than likely oblige?
    -If I do move in with my family members, can they face any repercussions such as harboring a runaway, etc?

    In advance I thank you for reading my post, and eagerly await your reply. Thanks.
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