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

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  • #16
    If my mom is trying to move me out of state next year and I don’t want to go and I ask my aunt to stay with her and she says yes can my mom legally make me leave I’ll be 17 in a couple monthss


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We’re sorry to hear that your mom is trying to make you move out of state against your wishes. Moves can be pretty stressful and it makes sense that you do not want to leave your home. While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. It is our understanding that your mom has the legal right and responsibility to determine where you live. If you were somewhere without her permission, she would be able to make you return back home. It is not illegal to be a runaway or to be somewhere without your parents’ permission, but the police can be called to take you back to them.

      If you want to talk more about your situation and what options you might have, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at

      Take care,

  • #17
    I'm 16 and I really want to move out and live with my boyfriend and his parents where I feel safe. My father has anger issues and is verbally and sometimes physically abusive. It scares me alot. It doesn't happen to my siblings as often as me and I just want to leave and not have to worry that I have to go back to live with him I just want to be away forever thats all I want. I have really bad depression and anxiety and I have panic attacks sometimes. I just wanna feel safe that's it please.


    • ccsmod8
      ccsmod8 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello there -

      Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline on our public forum. We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. It sounds like you're dealing with a lot at home with and you're thinking that the best way to deal with that would be to leave.

      Now we aren't legal experts here and you might have already read on this forum thread about what could happen if you were to leave home before the age of majority. So we won’t get into that since you can find it fairly easily. The only way that you will be removed from parent's custody legally and live somewhere else is if a youth were to report any abuse that was happening at home and there was an investigation in which CPS (Child Protective Services) deemed it dangerously unsafe for that youth to continue living there, if the youth filed for emancipation (every state is different, but you have to be 16 years or older and it does take a while to complete), or if there was a court decision to transfer custody to someone else. Those are the only three ways that a youth could legally leave home that we know of.

      Your parents may give you permission to live with another relative, family friend, or even partner's family, but without getting an official document from the court they would still be legally responsible for you. Which means that they can also take away that permission at any given moment and take you back home to live with them once again.

      If you have a specific question that you can't find the answer to on any of these threads or maybe find a place to vent about what you are feeling right now, you can always call us. It’s hard to talk to just anyone one about what has been going on. We also have a database that might be able to locate a youth agency that can provide you local support. Please reach out via phone or even our online chat for more help.

      Best of luck!
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