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I'm 16 in Florida and I want to know if your parents can force you to come back home

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  • #16
    So I’m 16 and my dad has full custody of both me and my brother, but I feel that my dad and my stepmom hates me. Am I able to live moth my mom without having my dads consent.

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    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,

      We’re so sorry to hear that. It sounds like you’re not getting the support that you need at home, and we’re sure that’s really tough.

      As to your question, we are not legal experts, but our understanding is that if your dad has full guardianship, that does mean that you cannot leave until you are 18 (unless you get permission from your guardian.) We do face these kinds of situations all the time, and there are some options to consider:

      Sometimes guardians do give permission for youth to live elsewhere, short term or long term. This can be a good way for everyone to get some space. So, you could think about if there’s a friend or relative you’d prefer to live with. Think if there’s a time of the week when everyone is less stressed, when you could broach this topic with your dad. If it’s helpful, perhaps there’s another adult who you trust who could be there to support you as well, or think if writing out what you want to say in advance would help.

      Also, know that it is never illegal to run away. It is what is called a Status offense. If you do leave, your guardians are obligated to file a runaway report. If a runaway report is filed, the police’s job is to return you to your guardian. But there can be situations where a youth leaves, and the guardian doesn’t file, or it is filed, but the youth is not found. And runaways still have a right to go to school. Your safety is most important. So if you do decide to take a step like this, think if there’s a friend or family member you could stay with who you trust, and consider having a support network of people you could call in a crisis or just to vent to.

      Lastly, we also have a database of free or sliding scale family counseling resources. If you think it might be a good idea, perhaps you, your brother, dad and stepmom could try that, and see if that helps make the home you live in a more supportive place. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)

      We hope his info is helpful. Everyone deserves a supportive home. It’s great that you are actively reaching out to try to find the support you need.

  • #17
    Hi, I have noticed some recent issues with my boyfriends mother and her household. My boyfriend is 16, younger brother is 14, sister is 12 and the two babies are 3 and 4 and she's pregnant with her 6th child currently. My boyfriend was recently told by his mother that him and his brother to leave the house and not use or eat anything in the home. I have told her how much I clean the house because it is always a mess with pull up diapers in the kitchen and bathroom floor, dishes piled up in the sink and onto the counter, food all over the floors and tables and underneath furniture, laundry was piled up in the garage etc. His mother legally has custody in the state of Tennessee but they moved to Florida two years ago and on paper she doesn't have custody here. He's been living with me for almost 3 weeks and she claims she doesn't know where he is or why he "ran away" when there's video proof of her telling them both to leave the house. The cops at my school don't believe him or his father. Long story short, what legal rights does he have as a 16 year old have and what can he do to get out of her custody because she isn't a stable mother. We are already building a case against her but they won't listen to a 16 year old boy. I am 18, will they listen to me if I am a legal adult? Please and thank you.

    Comment


    • #18
      Thank you for reaching out! It is admirable that you are doing your best to find a legal solution to this difficult situation! We are not legal experts, but we can offer general information! It is the right of a legal guardian to file a runaway report about a minor, but how that will be enforced varies from region to region. The best way to find out how a runaway report will be handled is calling out to the local police stations with a hypothetical scenario. A minor is able to attempt to obtain legal emancipation from a legal guardian through the court, but this requires proof that the minor can support themselves and may require a lawyer. The general intake number for emancipation questions in Florida is 1-800-625-2257. Again, this sounds like a tough situation, and we're glad you sought out support. If you have any further questions, or would like to talk please do not hesitate to call our toll-free, 24 hour hotline 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)
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

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      • #19
        My dad and I live together at my grandmother's. And she keeps kicking us out. We sleep outside in her shed. My dad is always trying to take the money I make at work. But my boyfriend has agreed to take my money and keep it safe. And he also told me he has a safe place for me to live. With food and a clean environment. I'm 16. I want to run away. But I don't want to be found. And I don't want his family to get in trouble. However my dad is trying to go back to Colorado. What can I do to get out of his custody? I looked into emancipation but I can't afford it. And I can't do what I need. Please help me

        Comment


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi,
          Sorry to hear all of this is going on with your grandma and dad. It sounds like a stressful situation.
          Legally, you are a minor in Florida (and also Colorado) until you’re 18. This means that your father could file a runaway report and the police could make you return to his custody, if you ran away. Also, your boyfriend could be at risk for being charged with ‘harboring a runaway’ which is a crime for knowingly letting someone who is a runaway to stay with you.
          You’re correct that emancipation is both time consuming and can be expensive. Another option might be to look for something called a Transitional Living Program (TLP) in your area. These are longer term programs for youths with problems at home and they provide shelter and structure (e.g. going to school or having a job).
          If you call us, we’re open 24x7 and can look for a TLP in your area. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY.
          Best of luck.

      • #20
        So i am 16 years old. i was originally living with my birth mother and then she got into a divorce and sent me down to Florida well my mother singed a power of attorney over to my grandmother. Can i move out/ run away/ get emancipated if she has that? My grandmother cannot provide for my needs clothing food ect she has plenty of money but she would rather spend it on pills and liquor. Idk what to do i have friends that know my situation and have said they will let me stay with them i have child support that will be sent to me when i move out i also have a job a subway. I just can't take this bs anymore everything is a hassle like per-say i want to go to my girlfriends house she has a big fit and says so on and so fourth oh how im such a failure and how i haven't done such and such because she wants to see me miserable we get into arguments and she will say vulgure things to me im gonna get the dog to bite you meanwhile its a 200 pound German Sheppard she is abusing me emontionally and sometimes physically.i just don't want to be taken by child protection services you know because i have my life set up and what not I need something i can do to get outta this house!

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey there,

          Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. You mentioned some things that raise concern for your safety and well-being. It sounds like there may be some abuse and neglect going on at home with your grandmother - absolutely no one deserves to be treated that way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You mentioned some hesitation in doing so, but if any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering. It may also be a good idea to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

          We’re not legal experts here at NRS, so we can’t give you any legal advice. Emancipation is an option in the state of Florida, but there are certain rules and qualifications about who can and cannot be emancipated. Emancipation can often be a lengthy and expensive process. You may want to contact a local legal aid group for assistance with any questions about the process that you may have.

          If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

          All the best,
          NRS

      • #21
        Hi I’m 16 and I live with my aunt. I have lived with either my aunt or my grandparents back an four basically all my life. The time that I lived with My mom she treats me bad. She has beaten me with her fist and belts many times also choked me once where I thought I’d pass out. I feel like a slave when I live with her constantly cleaning and doing whatever she ask. One time she punch me and made my nose bleed. When I was 10 we move with a man who had other wife’s living in the house and he didn’t like me. She told me she wanted to have an abortion with me and that I wasn’t her son anymore. She took me to my grandmas after that an I stayed two years. Since then my aunt came to get me. I love living with her. I have me own room and regular rules. My auntie hugs me and treats me good like her own son so much sometimes when people say she is mom I don’t correct them because it feels good to me. My aunt went to college to make a better life for me and my cousin and she applied for assistance to help with the cost of living since she had to cut back working for school. but the state tracked down my mom for child support and now she wants me to come back. It’s not because she misses me. She has 5 other kids livening with her and this man and his mom in a 3 bedroom and I won’t even have a place to sleep. I can’t go back with her. I’d rather die then be there. Trust me she does not really want me there. I’m scared of how she is gonna do me and I can’t fight back or they will really hurt me. Please tell me what are my rights here? I just want to stay with my auntie.

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey there,

          Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. It sounds like life with your mom was very unstable and that you've been able to find some happiness while with your aunt. We want you to know that you deserve to be safe and that it was not right for your mom to abuse you. It might be a good idea to speak with a caseworker from you local Department of Child and Family Services office about the abuse that you had to endure from your mother and how your aunt is able to provide you with a safe environment. They may be able to assist in transferring custody to your aunt. You can find out more about reporting the previous abuse and how to get in contact with DCFS by going to childhgelp.org. You and your aunt may also want to speak with a lawyer regarding the transfer of custody. If you'd like, you can go to lawhelp.org to find a legal aid group near you. Legal aid groups provide low-cost or free legal assistance.

          If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

          Stay safe,
          NRS

      • #22
        If a 16 year old runs away from home with their 18 year old sibling, and their parents file a runaway report, is the 18 year old going to be in trouble? Even if they’re siblings?

        Comment


        • 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. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. From what we gather about the story no you would not be in any trouble. If there is abuse going on and that is why the 18yr old took his brother than it might be best to report those types of things. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.
          Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (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.
          We hope to hear from you soon.
          Be safe, NRS

      • #23
        If a 16 year old runs away in florida to her boyfriends house and has permission to live there, can the police or the parents do anything about it?

        Comment


        • 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); www.1800runaway.org (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,
          NRS

      • #24
        I'm 16 in Florida and I've been living with my grandmother for 5 years. She keeps touching me and hugging me when I tell her not to, and it seems like she is doing it to spite me but it just makes me very uncomfortable and it upsets me that she touches and grabs me without my consent. I dont know what to do, nobody at home or church thinks she harbors even a sliver of malice.

        Comment


        • ccsmod6
          ccsmod6 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi,

          Sorry to hear that you’re having problems at home with you grandma.

          If you feel that she’s grabbing you in an abusive way, you do always have the right to file a child abuse report.

          However, if you think she’s just invading your personal space, you might want to consider asking another adult to step in and explain how you’re feeling on your behalf or to help moderate a conversation between you and your grandmother. Sometimes hearing things like this from other parents or trusted adults can help a grandparent realize that they’re making their grandchild feel uncomfortable.

          If you want to talk more, we’re open 24x7 and you can give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY.

          Best of luck.

      • #25
        So me and my mom have been arguing recently. It mainly been about her forcing me to go to work. She will not let me take any days off without working another day to make it up ( she usually don't let me do that either ) she is constantly taking money out of MY bank account. I can't spend my money without her permission. I never get to hang out or sleep over at a friend's house for more that a night. She is constantly yelling at me for everything I do wrong. She never congratulates me for anything. Im tired of this i want to know if I can move into a friend's house instead of living here

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey there,

          Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you are under the age of 18 and do opt to leave your home your mom can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home.

          It sounds like your mom isn’t fully understanding you when you are trying to relay your thoughts and feelings about her rules regarding spending your paycheck. It could be a good idea to work with a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a school counselor/social worker, trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you'd like, you can also call us directly and we can conduct a conference call with your mom so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

          If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

          Stay safe,
          NRS

      • #26
        I'm 17 in Florida and im currently trying to get away from my chaotic home. My dad and mom are always fighting and I have four siblings, My Dad has taken away all of my money and my door multiple times, im sleeping on an air mattress currently because i "can't be trusted" as I went on a Instagram without asking them..... I've had everything taken away from me and I'm constantly being threatened with being pulled out of school. My dad told me that under his house I have zero rights right now, and hes threatened to call the police to take me to jail because I said I didn't want to stay here. I have depression and extremely bad anxiety, and my parents won't acknowledge that, they just think i'm a bad person. I don't know what to do, my mom has had the school counselor place me under "runaway watch" so I cant go anywhere, and I dont know where to go. I have no money, no phone and no plan. Is it illegal to run away, truely?

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey there,

          Thanks so much for sharing a bit, it takes a lot of courage to reach out. It sounds like your parent's rules and punishments are really frustrating and it makes a lot of sense that you would want the same kind of freedom and independence that other's your age have. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your parents can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home.

          You mentioned that you have been struggling with depression and really bad anxiety but that our parents haven't been addressing it as they should be. It can be really hard to live with mental health issues and we want you to know that you aren’t alone in addressing them. If you’d like some additional support, an organization that may be helpful is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can contact them by calling 1-800-950-NAMI or you can text them by sending NAMI to 741741. Another agency that could be of great help is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), they can help you locate low or no cost mental health care providers in your area. Their number is 1-800-662-4357 or you can go to their site at samhsa.gov.

          If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

          Stay safe,
          NRS

      • #27
        I'm 16 years old, and I just can't stand my mother. Me, my sister, and my two brothers are staying with my grandmother I hated there so much i think about running away all the time. Just a quick background I have ran away before but was found and taking back to where i lived so anyways I don't think i can take any more of it there so my question if i move into a group home will they try to bring me back to the devils house??????

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,
          Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We are glad you reached out. Your question is a really good one and an important one to consider.

          Although we are not legal experts, the laws on that specific subject of running away vary from state to state, so our advice would be call your local non-emergency police number to get more information on that. In most states if you are under the age 18, you are not able to legally leave home without the risk of being brought back home. Your parent(s) or legal guardian always have the right to report a minor that has left home as a runaway to local authorities. Since it’s only considered a statues offense and not a crime to run away, the only thing that would happen is that the police will pick you up and bring you back home.

          You stated that you were thinking about going to a group home and/or shelter in order to not be at home with your mother and grandmother’s house. All shelters have a policy regarding parental notification and/or consent, most happen between 24 hours after arriving to immediately when doing intake. That of course does depend on what policy the shelter has and when they have to reach out to parents. So group homes it might be a little different as they are known to be associated with child protective services when a youth is removed from home. The decision of whether or not you would be removed from your parent(s) care falls on the shoulders of a CPS (Child Protective Services) case worker. Unfortunately, depending on the type of abuse, it would be harder to see and prove so it might come done to whether or not you have any evidence so support your case. If they don’t think there is abuse, they might recommend some counseling services or general family mediation. So that is something to keep in mind when you are planning your future plans to leave home before 18 years old.

          Only you know yourself when it’s time to leave home due to it being an unsafe situation and it sounds like you might some specific questions that you want to ask us or maybe find a place to vent about what you are feeling right now. It’s hard to talk to just anyone one about what has been going on. Please rest assured that we are completing confidential. So anything that you share with us will stay between us.

          Best of luck!

      • #28
        Im 16 years old. I have a job and i have an 18 year old boyfriend. At home things are very rough. My parents are overprotective and anything i do is a problem. My brother is 12 years old and goes out and does whatever he feels like doing and does not get any punishment. I am not allowed to go ut unless its with my boyfriend and i cannot go out to the movies or anything by myself but my brother can. There is a lot of favoritism between me and him and they treat me like crap.. I cannot stay in the house with them and my man and his family is willing to help. What do I do? I do not want to stay with them and i do not want to be forced to go back if i do leave. Please help.

        Comment


        • ccsmod8
          ccsmod8 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello!

          Thank you so much for reaching out, we appreciate you trying to seek help. You mentioned that things at home are tough, you parents treat you differently than your younger brother, and don’t allow you the same freedom. It sounds like you’re going through a tough time right now, and we want you to know that you’re not alone. We are mainly here for support and help find some guidance to local resources that might be able to help a youth through their particular situation and we aren’t here to tell you what to do because you know your situation a lot better than we do. We just want you to know your options and with whatever you choose that you’re safe and not on the streets.

          Only you know yourself when it’s time to leave home due to it being an unsafe situation and in turn you have to be okay with whatever consequences that happen afterwards. With that being said, we’re not legal experts, the laws on that specific subject of running away vary from state to state, so our advice would be call your local non-emergency police number to get more information on that. But if you decide to leave your home without you guardian’s consent, your parents can contact the authorities, and your guardians may file a runaway report. Since it’s only considered a statues offense in most states and not a crime to run away, the only thing that would happen is that the police will pick you up and bring you back home. Whoever you end up staying with, may face some consequences with the authorities for "harboring a known runaway".

          If you are ever feeling unsafe and not sure where to go, you can text the word safe and your current location to 44357. The organization "National Safe Place" has certain places set up throughout the United States (keep in mind that not all city and states have them) and they will text you back a safe location and a case worker will be out to assist you.

          Thank you so much for reaching out, you’re really brave for going through this, and we care about your safety. It’s hard to talk to just anyone one about what has been going on. If you need additional help or resources, you can call us anytime on our 24 hour hotline at 1 (800) 786-2929 or via our online chat.

          Best of luck!
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