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Running away in Fl at 17?

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  • Running away in Fl at 17?

    Hello, I've been having some problems lately. My mom is depressed and I'm pretty sure my dad is cheating on my mom. He talks about divorce. I'm 17 and a senior in highschool and I'm just so sick of it. I hate living in these conditions and this house. My parents won't let me get emancipated, but I'd have someone to be my legal guardian. I want to finish high school before I leave. I graduate in May, and wont be 18 until July. If I left three months before I turn 18 would it count as running away? And could my grandparents get in trouble for letting me live there if my parents did call the police? I just want to know what to do because I'm at the point I can't take it anymore. Thank you.

  • #2
    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline for support. It’s understandable how frustrating your situation must be, especially during your last year of high school. It’s always good to have a support system around you when you’re going through these difficult situations. If you don’t have another trusted adult or family member to open up to about this in your life, you can always get in contact with They’re a counseling resource that can provide guidance and support for you with what you’re going through and are fully confidential.

    We’re not legal experts, but we can provide you with some generalities based on your questions about running away. Running away is not considered illegal, but it is considered a status offense because of your age being 17. If your parents were to call the police and file a runaway report, that basically means if the police found you they would bring you back home. There’s also the possibility that your grandparents could be charged with “harboring a minor” if your parents were to press charges.

    Once again, it’s completely understandable how difficult it is to be around that environment at home with your mom depressed and your dad cheating on her. Divorce can also create a lot of stress. That being said, it makes sense why you’d want to leave home or become emancipated. Something to think about would be the timing in all of this. Emancipation can take up to several months, sometimes even longer to complete and incur a lot of lawyer fees. As hard as it is to be at home right now, it might be worth waiting the few extra months until July when you turn 18 and eliminate the stress of going through the whole process of emancipation, which can generally be long and complicated.

    An option to think about in all of this is also talking with your parents about letting you stay with your grandparents. If you’re able to get permission from them to stay with your grandparents then you would not be considered a runaway. If that seems too difficult right now, we provide a conference calling service in which we can help mediate between you and your parents and offer as much support as possible. If you are interested in doing that or if you would like to speak with someone further about what you’re going through, you can call us directly at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Our liners are available 24/7 to listen and provide support in any way we can.
    Best of luck to you!
    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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