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Can i choose who i want to live with?

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  • Can i choose who i want to live with?

    Okay so i'm in a situation. when i was 8 or so my mom lost custody of me and my brother. my stepfather was a drunk and my dad and grandparents didn't think we were safe there. my dad took me and my brother into custody and we have lived with him ever since. my brother is in college and i'm a senior in high school. me and my dad have been having lost of problems lately and its starting to get physical and he just makes me feel like im nothing. i would do anything possible to live with my grandma she has bought all of me and my brothers stuff since we were very young like all our clothes our vehicles and everything. i'm 17 and my dad hates the idea of me going and living with her but she doesn't like me living with him. can i legally live there? my dad has told me that it will never work and ill never live with her until im 18 but i cant wait i need answers fast. i live in arkansas

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to NRS. It sounds like things have been very stressful at home. You deserve to be physically safe and feel respected at home, and we’re glad you’re reaching out for support.

    You mentioned that things have started to get physical with your dad. No one deserves to be abused, and our main concern is your safety. If you are interested in reporting the abuse or learning more about abuse reporting, you can always call our hotline. We never pressure anyone to make a report, but we can answer any questions you have and help you file a report or file one on your behalf if you want to make one.

    We are not legal experts, but we can answer generally about your custody situation. If you dad is the on with custody over you, he legally as the right to decide who you live with until you are 18 years old. If you got permission from your dad to live with your grandma, you would be able to go and live with her.

    If your dad did not give you permission and you went to live with your grandma, he could file a runaway report with the police. It’s not illegal to runaway but it is a status offense, which means that if the police found out where you were they might bring you back home. Sometimes when a youth is close to their 18th birthday, the police will choose not to accept a runaway report. However, this is very dependent upon how your local police chooses to handle runaway reports. If they did accept the runaway report, it is also possible that your grandma could be charged with harboring a runaway, but again that is dependent upon your local police.

    One option would be to contact your local police’s nonemergency number. By calling, you can ask if they accept runaway reports for people who are 17 years old if they are staying with another family member and other questions you have. If you wanted support in calling the police, our hotline offers conference calls. During a conference call, you and an NRS crisis hotline operator would call the local police together and anonymously ask your questions about runaway reports.

    Whether you’d like to call the nonemergency police, file an abuse report, or talk through other options, our hotline is available 24/7 and we’re always here to listen and offer support. You can reach us anytime by calling 1-800-786-2929. We wish you all the best and hope to hear from you soon!

    Be safe, 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)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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