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Leaving home

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  • Leaving home

    I am 18 years old, and I plan to move away. I currently live in California and plan to move to a place with my friend in a different area of the US. To do so, I need to steal money from my parents to run away. Would it be illegal if I stole money from them and used it to run away from home?

  • #2
    RE: Leaving home


    Thanks for reaching out to us for help and support. Sounds like you are planning to move out. Since you are 18 you are considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live. Your parents do not have any legal recourse to keep you from moving out on your own if that is your decision. Stealing money from your parents is illegal. We are not legal experts, however we can help give you a general sense of what consequences you may face. Stealing money is illegal and you could face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on how much you take and how you take it. If you get caught stealing, you may have to pay big fines or spend time in jail. We could help you find resources and talk about your options for legal ways to earn and save money you will need for moving. It can also be very helpful to have a backup plan in case things don't work out how you hope with your friend. We often hear from youth who move out and end up stranded or in a dangerous situation when their plans don't work out. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving is a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It is also helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can. Please don't hesitate to give us a call or chat with us online if you need resources or want to talk!
    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)

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