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I am 16 in Missouri. Can I legally move out?

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  • I am 16 in Missouri. Can I legally move out?

    I am 16 and living with both parents and two younger siblings. Both of my parents use marajuana heavily, usually getting high in their room a couple times a day. I have told my school about the drug problem and how they have weed in our home, but nothing has been done about it. Every time I tell someone, it back tracks to my parents and my father gets very angry, hostile, and even violent sometimes. (Which I am assuming is because he smokes so much) My boyfriend is 18, and is looking for apartments for once he graduates high school this year. He makes enough money to support both of us, and I just got a job working part time. My father is very verbally abusive, and sometimes physically. My siblings are young and too scared to tell anyone, usually sticking up for him in fear that he will hit them. Can I move out if I love with my boyfriend and his family in a safe environment?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you and your siblings are going through a very stressful time right now at home. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help and we are glad that you decided to reach out us.

    We are sorry to hear that your dad is physically and verbally abuse. It is not ok. It can be hard to prove verbal and emotional abuse. However, if you can take any picture of any physical marks they can be used as a proof of abuse. Child Help USA can help you provide more information about abuse report and how to file one. They can be contacted at 1-800-422-4453. If your life is danger or if your dad is in situation where he might hurt you or your siblings you can always call 911. If you call us at our 24 hour confidential hotline we would happy to look up any legal aid resources at no cost or at a low fee.
    While we are not legal experts just speaking generally running away from home is not crime however if a police report is filed the police can bring you back home and whoever you stay with could be charged with harboring a runaway.

    All of this can be really stressful and overwhelming and we are here to help you through this hard time. If it might be an option for you, you could call us at our 24 hour confidential hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we would be happy to listen to you and explore your options and provide any resources. We wish you the best and hope to hear from you soon.
    We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: We care what you think https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think


    Best,
    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
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Can a teen move out at the age of 16 and their parents not be able to do anything about it? Like if they call the cops can they make them come back home?

      Comment


      • #4
        Reply: Can a teen move out at the age of 16...

        Hello,
        Thank you for writing to us here at 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. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. In some states there are emancipation laws that can be one way of trying to gain your independence. . We are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not unfortunately. Laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18.

        Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. It’s best to check your local court house to gain more information on this process.
        Also you might check with your local police department to inquire about the runaway laws in your state or if someone that moves out of their parent or guardian’s home would without permission would be considered a runaway and forced to return home.
        If you would like to talk more about your situation we are here to listen and here to help.
        To speak with someone on our crisis or chat line contact 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.1800runaway.org

        We look forward to hearing from you.

        Take care,
        NRS

        We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: Your Opinion Matters to Us
        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
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment

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