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16 Year old help in New Jersey

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  • 16 Year old help in New Jersey

    I am currently 16 years old and residing in New Jersey with my friend's parents whom have no legal guardianship over me. My parents both have custody, and my mother is emotionally unstable and abusive I haven't lived with her for year yet she somehow is managing to slow down things with the court in trying to place me in a foster home or something similar. I am unable to live with my dad. He is in support of me becoming emancipated because I can no longer live in this house and I'm not sure why my mom still has legal say about any of my issues. Is there anything I can do to get out of this house and find a safer house on my own without going against the law? I've heard that the legal age of adulthood in texas is 17 so when I turn 17 if i run away to Texas am I able to make my own decisions and such? Thank you I'm just confused and trapped in my current situation and I don't know where else to turn for advice.

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us a bit about what is going on. It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation right now and it was very brave of you to contact us. Now, we aren’t legally trained here so we can’t say for sure what would happen if you were to go to Texas at 17 but we can give you a general idea of what may happen. We can also help you locate some resources that may be able to help you get a better understanding of what your rights are. Can you tell us more about what’s going on?

    It sounds like you are currently living with a friend’s parents but they don’t have legal rights over you because your mom is still your legal guardian. It sounds like your dad also has guardianship over you as well and that he is supportive of you becoming emancipated. Have you had the opportunity to talk with him about your mom slowing things down for you? If he and mom share custody of you, he may be able to speed up the process for you.

    It sounds like you are trying to find somewhere to go without breaking the law; it’s great that you are trying to do things so that it’s easier for you. Unfortunately, it is our understanding that a youth has to stay with their guardians until they turn 18; it seems as if someone told you that in TX, you would be considered an adult once you turned 18. This may be something that we can explore with you but we would need for you to call us. We can help you call the police department in TX and ask them questions about what would happen if you were to go there. We can also help you locate shelter or other safe places to go if you were to go to Texas.

    Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are a confidential and anonymous hotline for youth. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) if you would like to explore your options or see what resources may be available to you. We also have online chat services that are available from 4:30 PM-11:30 PM (CST), 7 days a week and those can be found on our website (

    We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the 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!


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