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Would I be considered a runaway if I went to college?

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  • Would I be considered a runaway if I went to college?

    I am sixteen years old and I live with my dad. I graduated high school early and I have been attending the local community college. I've finished the transferable courses I need and I want to transfer to a university in the fall (I will be 17 when I attend). My dad will not allow me to move out until I turn 18.
    I have already been accepted to a university. All of the necessary parental permission forms have been signed by my mother (She shares joint conservatorship of me with my dad, but I don't live with her).
    If I go to college against my Dad's wishes, could he report me as a runaway? If so, would my mother's permission be enough to prevent me from being arrested and returned home?
    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    Hey, thanks for reaching out. Sounds like you're in a difficult position, with your mom but not your dad giving you permission to go to college at 17.

    It's possible that your local police department would ignore any runaway report your dad might file, since you will be 17 at the time. This depends on your local police department, so it would be best to give them a call and ask how they handle 17 year old runaway cases. In any case, running away is not legal.

    You mentioned that your mom and dad share joint conservatorship over you, meaning they can make financial decisions on your behalf. We aren't legal experts, but from our understanding, it would be hard for your dad to prevent you from going to college after you have aleady received your mom's permission and they have split custody. You might join your mom in on the conversation to see if she can talk to your dad about if for you. We have legal resources here if you ever are in need of legal assistance.

    Again, we aren't legal experts, so it'd be best to talk to a legal aid resource familiar with the laws in your area. If you give us a call, we can help you look up those resources.

    Best of luck with everything.

    -NRS
    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)
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