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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
    [email protected] (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
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

        Comment


        • #5
          If l am sixteen and my parent wanted to me to return home and l have been living with my grandma since age thirteen, do l have to return back too my mom in the state of MO.
          Last edited by ccsmod7; 05-12-2019, 10:41 AM.

          Comment


          • ccsmod7
            ccsmod7 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are in a difficult spot with your parent wanting you to return after you have built a life at your grandma's for the last 3 years. Here at NRS, we truly want to be a support for you during this difficult time.

            We are not legal experts, but we can speak generally. Since you are a minor, your legal guardian does have some rights over deciding big life decisions for you including where you live, as long as it is safe. So if your parent is still your legal guardian, they can attempt to make you come home. However, if your parent gave your grandma legal guardianship, than she is the one who has those rights over where you stay. If you haven't already, you might try to talk to your grandma about whether or not she has any custody rights. If she does not have any rights, you might try to have her talk to your parent for you and advocate for you staying with her. Sometimes it helps to include trusted adults in on the conversation when your parent is not hearing you.

            If you refuse to go, your guardian can attempt to file you as a runaway with local police. However, it is hard to say how police would respond to that since you have already been living there with a relative for 3 years and it is not a typical runaway situation. You might try to call or have your grandma call your local non-emergency police line and ask how they would handle that situation.

            Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk in more detail about your situation or if you need any support. We are here to listen, here to help.

            Best,

            NRS

        • #6
          I’ve been living with my boyfriend for a year now I’d my mom calls the cops would I have to return home if I’m 16 when she’s given permission to my boyfriends grandparents that I can stay there

          Comment


          • ccsmod6
            ccsmod6 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. Our understanding is that your mom is allowed to give and take back permission for you to live somewhere else as a minor. This means that if your mom gave you permission to live somewhere you could live there, but she can decide at any point to make you live elsewhere. If your mom calls the police and files a runaway report, the police are generally entitled to pick you up and return you home. If you would like to talk more about what’s going on and what other options there may be, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or on chat at 1800runaway.org.

            Take care,
            NRS

        • #7
          How can I get divorced from my parents

          Comment


          • ccsmod1
            ccsmod1 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey there,

            Thanks so much for reaching out to us. We’re not legal experts here at NRS, so unfortunately, we can’t give you any legal advice but it sounds like you're talking about emancipation. Emancipation is an option in some states but there are certain rules and qualifications about who can and cannot be emancipated. Emancipation can often be a lengthy and expensive process. If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

            All the best,
            NRS

        • #8
          I’m 16 visit my grandma every summer Xmas she and aunt does a lot for me. She has been asking for me for yrs and my relationship with my mom gets worst and worst. I can’t take it anymore . I’m visiting my grand now and I don’t want to go back. What are my options

          Comment


          • ccsmod9
            ccsmod9 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your guardian’s permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your guardian. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.

            Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

            Be safe,

            NRS
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