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I'm 16 and wanna move out

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  • I'm 16 and wanna move out

    My parents are divorced and my dad just moved to North Carolina and me and my sisters and my niece live in Pennsylvania with my mother and my mom is never home. She is always with her boyfriend and we have to find food in the house to cook but we don't have much. I tried to move in with my dad when he lived in pa but she threatened me. And I tried to move down with him but she wouldn't let me with the fact that she will never allow me to stay with her ever again. So my dad said we will take it to court over the summer to help me move down but idk how the case will workout. I'm scared I'm going to have to live here. I also thought about getting emancipated and become free of my mother

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. 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.

    We’re not legal experts here so it is hard to say what your legal rights would be in this case but in most states, the legal age of adulthood is 18 and you are able to make decisions for yourself. You can verify the age of adulthood by calling your local police department's non-emergency number. The easiest way to leave home is with your legal guardian's permission. We understand that might be challenging given what you shared about your parents' divorce, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your family. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.

    We're sorry you're feeling scared about living there. You may want to consider sharing your situation with a trusted adult that can help map out a plan with you so that if in the event, you remain in your mother's custody—there is a back-up plan in place. Other family members, neighbors, teachers, counselors, or principals may be able to serve in this role. It is important that they are people you have direct, in person contact with so that you have someone to call when you need help.

    We are here as support to help through this challenging time. Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

    Call 1-800-RUNAWAY if you are thinking of running from home, if you have a friend who has runaway, or if you are a runaway ready to go home.

    Take Care,
    National Runaway Safeline
    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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