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Can I Leave yet?...

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  • Can I Leave yet?...

    I am 17 years old and want to move out. I have been looking into Laws and such, and am looking further. I want to make a good decision here, I have a safe place to go and a job and can support my self, all I need to know is can it actually happen? Can I move out without consent and not be dragged back or do I have to wait til I'm 18? I live in Colorado, and all the laws are confusing to keep straight. Please help? Emancipation is pointless at this point, I turn 18 in November. Can I leave yet?...

  • #2
    RE: Can I Leave Yet?


    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard for support. It is great that you reached out to share your story with us. It sounds like you are doing a lot of good things on your own. It seems if given the chance you may be able to support yourself since you have a place to go and a job. It seems there is an urgency to want to leave but it you may be limited because of your age.

    If you were to leave at 17 you do run the risk of being reported as a runaway but that may come down to what actions your parent take against you. It is not illegal to runaway but if someone were to shelter you or get in the way of your parents it may be seen as obstruction or harboring a runaway. We are not legal experts so we cannot speak to every situation because every situation may be different.

    It may come down to your county, city and state and how they interpret your laws. However, harboring may be the same across the board but it may be worth contacting your local police to find out what they will do because they are the likely party to get in involved. It is usually at their discretion. It issue of leaving will matter most if you had the consent of your parents but you are still considered a minor and it may affect you differently based on whether your parent call the police. However, you know your parents best and know what they may or may not do.

    We are a 24 hour hotline dedicated to working with you if you need to reach out in person. We are confidential and anonymous. We can help guide you but we cannot give you advice because we are non-directive. We have resources in our database that may help you sort some thing out. It sounds like you are thinking ahead and see the reality of emancipation and how soon you will be 18.

    Sometimes the police may not get involved when you are that close to 18 but we cannot guarantee what they will do. It is always at their discretion. They may return you home or they may leave it up to your parents to decide. Our number here is 1800RUNAWAY if you need to speak about this issue in person. All of our liners are trained the same way to help you. We hope this info has been helpful to you. We wish you the best and good luck in figuring out your plan.

    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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