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I’m 17 and I want to move out when I’m 18

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  • I’m 17 and I want to move out when I’m 18

    Hi I am 17 years old right now but I will be 18 in 4 months. My mom and I never get along she verbally abuses me and makes me so unhappy. I’ve been wanting to live with my father since I was in 5 grade but my mom always got the court ruling for me to stay with her (only because she wanted child support). Anyways I am still in high school I’m in my junior year so that means when I turn 18 I’ll have a year and a half left of school to finish. I could go live with my dad but he lives in Orlando which is about four hours away from me so that means I would have to leave my school friends and family. I have a boyfriend we have been dating for roughly a year and his parents are willing to take me in the remainder of high school because we are planning to go to college together. So I have a couple of questions, When I move out can I take all my belongings such as my clothes, housekeeping, and hygiene stuff? What if she calles the cops and tells them that’s all her stuff and I can’t take it then what will I do? Also if I go live with my boyfriend and I’m still enrolled in school under my mom will I have to unroll and do online schooling or will I have to register myself as an adult and have his parents sign as a guardian? One last thing if the child support papers say my dad still has to pay child support till I’m in high school or turn 18 but I’m not living with my mom does that money go towards me or does it just completely cut off or will they just have to go to court for it.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out to us. It sounds like you’re facing a lot of difficult issues at home, and it’s very brave to come forward with them. We hope to give you some advice that will help you out in this situation. However, we want to preface our advice by stating that we are not legal experts, and so the advice we give is only general advice. We do not know how the laws are written and enforced in your location.

    Firstly, we want to let you know that abuse is never okay and is certainly not your fault. You deserve to feel safe and loved at home and with your family. If you ever feel like you need someone to process your experiences with abuse, you can feel free to call us at 1-800-786-2929. We are here to listen, to provide support, and to provide resources to youth who have experienced abuse. You also can call ChildHelp, a national child abuse hotline at 1-800-422-4453. We also urge you to call 911 if you feel like your immediate safety is threatened at any point.

    Many runaways decide to bring survival necessities with them when they leave home. These include clothes, housekeeping items, and hygienic items like you mentioned. While it may be possible that your guardian could report those items as stolen, given how often runaways bring these items with them when they leave, it may be unlikely that the police in your jurisdiction would penalize you for bringing clothes, etc. with you. In terms of securing your education, you have the right to go to school even as a runaway. There is a program called the McKinney-Vento Act in the U.S. that guarantees runaway youth can be enrolled in new schools without the typical paperwork (i.e., proof of guardianship), and also makes efforts to keep youth in their original school if possible. If you call us at 1-800-786-2929, we can give you the contact information to your state’s McKinney-Vento Act representative. We also can help you contact legal aid resources that would be able to answer whether or not you would be able to receive child support benefits as a runaway. This is information that we do not know because we aren’t legal experts.

    Hopefully this information proves helpful in this difficult time. We wish you the best of luck and invite you to contact us if you need further assistance.

    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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