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16 years old in Shawnee, KS

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  • 16 years old in Shawnee, KS


    Sorry for the extra burden, but I am planning to drop out of high school, leave my parents' residence, and get a job. I'm not being abused... I just can't stand my parents and I don't want to waste another 1.5 years of my life waiting to graduate. I have a high IQ (I'm in the school's gifted and talented program), and I've been very successful inextracurricular activities.

    I was wondering about the legality of what I'm about to do. If I'm wandering about on the streets, can police find me and take me home? Even so, if I avoid getting caught, can I get a job?

    What if I find a residence (through craigslist) and can afford to pay the rent. Does that change anything.

    One job offer on craigslist is somebody looking for a personal assistant to travel with them. Assuming the person would allow me to work for him/her, would police be able to take me home.. in kansas? in other states? could the person get in trouble?

    Thanks for your answers,
    - [name]

  • #2
    Re: 16 years old in Shawnee, KS

    Thanks for contacting us and it’s no burden! We’re here to answer questions the best we can and help in any situation. That’s great to hear that you do well in school and are involved in other activities. Sorry to hear you can’t stand your parents. Are there specific things that they do or don’t do that drive you crazy? Do you see any way that staying home could be more bearable? What do you hope to accomplish by dropping out and moving out?

    It does sound like you’ve thought through a possible plan and mostly want to know if it’s legal. Well, we aren’t able to give specific legal advice but we do know some of the general laws that may apply to your situation.

    First, would you have permission from your parents to move out? If not, this could be considered running away. Unfortunately, in most states 18 is the legal age of majority. So until this age, your legal guardians (aka parents) have the right to say where you can and can’t live. If you leave anyways, they would have the right to file a runaway report with the police (these reports do go into a nation-wide database). The police, if they find you, would likely return you back home to your parents. This is the most “punishment” that the majority of runaways receive. However, often if a runaway is picked up across state lines they may go to juvenile detention until they can be transported back home.

    As far as getting a job. We’re not sure if you would or wouldn’t be able to. It may depend on how much the employer checks into your background. All employers should require some sort of identification from you, including ID, social security number, etc. When it comes to the traveling job. Assuming the person does check your ID and finds out you’re a minor, do you think it’s possible they’ll want to make sure your parents are okay with you taking such a job? There’s no way to know for sure if they would or wouldn’t get into trouble. It’s possible, since harboring a runaway and assisting a runaway across state lines is against the law in some areas.

    One option that you could look into is emancipation. In case you don’t know what this is, it’s a legal process by which you could gain the rights of an adult before you turn 18. Kansas does have such a process, but the information we have about it is slightly confusing. There are probably specific requirements (usually you have to prove you can support yourself, be a certain age, among other things). Also, legal guardians do usually have to be notified if their minor child is petitioning for emancipation. The following website has the actual statue if you want to see what it says: ... mber=15284.
    To get more information or to find out how you could petition for emancipation, your county courthouse is the one to call. If you live in Shawnee Mission, the number you’ll want to contact is 913-715-5000. If you live in Shawnee County, the number for the district court is 785-233-8200 x5156. You could also contact a legal aid number to get more specific information about the laws in your area. They may also be able to better explain the emancipation process. The number is 1-800-479-6520, the organization is called Kansas Legal Services, Inc.

    If you aren’t comfortable calling a courthouse on your own, one of the things we can do here is conference calls. If you were to call us, we could call your local court and try to get the information you’re looking for. You’d probably need to call during business hours since most courts have 9-5 hours, Mon-Fri. We’d be more than willing to help in this way if you’d like.

    Well, that’s a lot of information to take in. If you have questions about any of this, want to talk more about options and possible outcomes of each option, or just need someone to talk to, our hotline is available 24/7. The number is 1-800-RUNAWAY. 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!


    • #3
      So i want to leave home but my grandparents wont let me? I am only 15 right now but if i wait unit i am 16 and then i live with my friend.. Can I?


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline- we are happy to help. It sounds like your not so happy with your current living situation and are looking to move out of your grandparents’ house. This can be really confusing, but we are here to clarify things for you. Though we aren’t legal experts, there are a few things we can tell you. Because you are not yet considered an adult in most states, it is likely that if you leave home and your grandparents file a runaway report, the police will bring you back home if they find you.If you do chose to leave, it is important to have a plan and consider the safety of your new situation. Also, in most places running away is just a status offense, meaning you won’t get in any trouble with the law. We hope this was helpful, but if you still have questions or would just like to chat, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1(800)-786-2929. Again, we are happy to help.

        National Runaway Safeline

    • #4
      So my girlfriend is 16 will be 17 in 5 months and wants to live with me because her parents treat her like a baby. I’m wanting to allow her to come and live with me and my grandma but I don’t know if the police can do anything because of her age. We both live in Kansas.


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
        While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
        We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        Be safe,
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