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Michigan: leaving home at 17?

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  • Michigan: leaving home at 17?

    I have been living with my mom and my boyfriend in her home, until recently when she kicked us both out. I'm sure its only because shes mad over our personal issues, but I cant go back mentally. This isn't the first time this has happened but it will be the last. I've been staying with my dad (my parents are divorced) and my boyfriend (20) is staying at his friends house. I can't stay at my dads anymore because he lives too far away from my school and it takes me too long to get school and work. He/They don't understand what my problem is with my dads house and refuse to let me stay at a friends or anywhere else. My boyfriend and I will have enough money for the initial fees and monthly rent for a nice mobile home (right near my school and both of our places of work) in three weeks. We have done the calculations and can afford to live there permanently. I am 17, 18 in April (I can't wait that long) in the state of Michigan, Kent County. If I leave in a few weeks without their permission, will it be considered illegal? Is there anything they can do to my boyfriend or myself? Can my parents file a runaway report that will be followed through with by the police? Please help me figure this out.

  • #2
    re: Michigan: leaving home at 17?


    Thanks for contacting us. It sounds like you are having a very difficult time, and I'm sorry to hear that. It sounds like you are trying to be really responsible and mature about the situation, so that's great. We are not legal experts here, but I can tell you that Michigan is one of the very few states where 17 is considered the age of majority. This means that legally you can move out and your parents (or the police) cannot make your return.

    We'd be happy to talk to you about how to handle the conflict, and the transition period. Please feel free to give us a call at 1800Runaway, and we can talk more about your situation.

    We look forward to your call or chat.

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


    • #3
      Hi I’m 17, I live in Michigan. My parents and I don’t get along they hate my boyfriend because they think he’s controlling which he isn’t in any form shape or way. I’m ahead in school and could graduate early if I wanted to but my mom won’t let me because she doesn’t want me to move out so she wants to keep me in school everyday to do extra classes. I just want to be done with school and move out. She’s constantly telling me that if I move out she will beat my ass. And my dad will kill my boyfriend. My step dad is always raising his voice at me and telling me mean things. I want out of this mess of a house before it ruins my future. Can I move out? I turn 18 in July. But can the cops bring me home?


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks for reaching out. We’re so sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time at home. It is totally understandable that you’d feel frustrated. We’ll definitely help however we can.

        First, you mentioned that your mom has threatened to beat you—it is never okay for parents to hurt their children. If you are ever feeling unsafe at home, know that you have the right to report that.

        You also inquired about leaving home before you turn 18 yrs. old. We aren’t legal experts here, but to our knowledge, police departments in the state of Michigan do not usually try to track down youth who are already 17 years old to reunite them with their families. To confirm that, we’d be happy to call out to your city’s specific police station with you to get more information on their policies.

        It sounds like you are already weighing the decision very thoughtfully. One thing that can help as well is to think through a plan of where you would go, how you would get there, how you’d support yourself financially, and what your next steps might be after school. This way, if you do end up deciding to leave home early and don’t think your parents will support the decision, you know how you’ll be able to get along without their assistance.

        If you have other ideas you want us to help you think through, or if you just want to follow-up on anything we’ve written above, please feel free to call our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at

        Best of luck,
        National Runaway Safeline (NRS)

    • #4
      I'm 17 and things get hard at my dad's because of him and my step mom and I was wondering when things get rough could I runaway to my mom's house about 45 minute walk without my dads consent? in michigan. and could they call the police on me or my mom for accepting me in her home when its not her time to have me


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