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Running Away at 18 - Legal Advice

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  • ccsmod8
    Hello there –

    Thank you for taking the time out of your day to get into contact with us here at the National Runaway Safeline on our public forum, we are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. Hopefully by supporting you there are other that are reading through this thread that can relate can feel helped as well.

    Now like you might have read on our other threads is that we aren’t legal experts, but what generally what typically happens in each state is if you are below the legal age of majority (18 in most states except Alabama and Nebraska [19 or upon marriage], and Mississippi [21]), your parents would be able to make a runaway report in the event that you do run away. 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 have stated that you are currently 18 years old and want to move across state lines. Now considering the information above, you are a legal adult at 18 and can’t be forced home and your parents can’t file a runaway report with the police. Now if you haven’t told them where you are or have cut all communication with them after you leave, they can call the police still but to file a missing person’s report rather than a runaway report. It wouldn’t affect you at all though because they don’t normally come up on background checks. You can always go to the police and tell them that you aren’t missing and/or not in danger of where you currently are. You are free to move out at 18 and even cross state lines at 18 without anyone getting into trouble.

    Another thing that might be helpful to think about during this time is what your life is going to look like if you were to move in with your boyfriend. It might be a huge change from living at home to living with someone that you haven't lived with before. Factoring in these kinds of thoughts into your overall plan, again can possibly help you in your decision to leave (i.e what's your role in the house, are you going to be working, how long are you going to live there, will you be paying your share of the bills, what happens if you break up, what happens if you realize down the road that you can't live together and they kicks you out, etc). Having a solid plan about what you are planning on doing it might be a good idea so that you can think about what is reasonably possible for you to do and want isn’t.

    If you have any further questions at all, please feel free to call in. Hope that this information helps.

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  • Guest
    Guest started a topic Running Away at 18 - Legal Advice

    Running Away at 18 - Legal Advice

    I'm 18 and currently in an abusive household. This summer, my boyfriend who is 19, offered to let me live with him in Florida. I'm a resident of Pennsylvania.

    This summer I'll have already graduated high school and should have my license. So I plan to leave sometime after this.

    Is there any reprocussions of running away? I don't want to get my boyfriend in trouble. Is there any way my mother could get us in trouble?
    I plan on leaving a note and saying I'm safe and I chose to go, but my mother is extremely manipulative and controls everything I do. I feel like running away is the best thing I can do. Should I call the police myself before I leave and tell them I'm safe and leaving on my own? Or would it be better to just leave?

    I also received a laptop for Christmas last year from my mom. Would it be safe to take it with me? Or could my mother accuse me of stealing it to try and get me to come back?

    I just really need to leave, I don't want to get my boyfriend in trouble, and I'm trying to leave as smoothly as possible.
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