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moving out in Arkansas at 18?

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  • moving out in Arkansas at 18?

    I'll be 18 in a week now. I live in Arkansas w my Mom who has full custody of me. I just want to know &what the laws in arkansas are for moving out & what my mom could do. I'm also in school still, but I want to transfer to my old school. They told my dad it wouldn't be a problem since they still have my records. I just really need some advice, thank you.

  • #2
    RE: moving out in Arkansas at 18?

    Thanks for your post. Since you are 18, you are considered a legal adult. This means you now have a right to decide where you want to live or if you want to move out and your mother has no legal way to stop you. She no longer has custody of you because you are not a minor. It does not sound like you would have a problem transferring schools since they already confirmed that you can transfer without a problem. Moving out on your own can be scary and is a huge step, so if you have any questions or need help making a plan, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are here to listen and help however we can. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.
    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
      i am 18 and my mom is tryin to make me stay what do i do


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there, thank you for reaching out.

        That sounds pretty unfair that your mom is making you stay home at 18. Generally 18 is the legal age where you can leave home without permission or the majority age. There are a couple states that have higher majority ages so you might google your state's majority age to make sure you can leave. If 18 is the legal age, there is no legal way your mom can force you to stay home. If you are worried that she will get physical, you can ask local police to give you as escort in and out of the house to get your things.

        Moving out is a big step and we want to he a support for you. Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk over your plan to move out or if you are in need of any resources. We are here to listen, here to help.

        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:

        We look forward to hearing from you,


    • #4
      So I’m a junior in high school (17 years old) and I turn 18 in May. My friend has offered for me to live with him and his parent when I turn 18, I live in Arkansas so I’ll be considered an adult. Am I allowed to live with them? My mother is very controlling over me and is forcing me to go to college when I don’t want to. I don’t want to live with my family anymore because I’ve felt trapped there forever with some toxicity. I’ve recently been applying for jobs so I can save up money for the reason of helping my friend/his parent with rent or eventually sharing an apartment with roommates.


      • ccsmod13
        ccsmod13 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you for reaching out to NRS and we appreciate you sharing a bit of your situation with us. While we are not legal experts we can speak generally on this. Once you turn 18 you will be considered a legal adult which means you will have the legal freedom to choose where you live. Your mother will not have the legal ability to make decisions for you and cannot force you to live at home. You did mention that she is very controlling and most likely will not approve of your decision to move out. It could be helpful to have a solid plan in place for how and when you will move out to ensure it can go as smoothly as possible. We are available 24/7 for immediate support to listen and help as much as possible while you navigate this challenging situation. You can reach out anytime by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or through live at

        Good luck and stay safe,

    • #5
      I am about to turn 18 in almost a month, my gf turned 16 in March, and she has an 11 year old sister, am I still able to move in with my 16 year old gf when I turn 18 if her guardian gives me permission?


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for reaching out to us, we hope we can help as best we can. Since you would be 18 you would more than likely be considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live, if you choose to live with your girlfriend’s family and they are letting you stay there then it is perfectly legal. Although if you would like to consider other options, can help you make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet.
        Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can.
        If you want to talk in more detail, please reach out to us via chat or call.
        Stay safe,

    • #6
      i have 3 weeks until i turn 18 but my parents still try and control my life. is there any way i can leave before my 18th birthday and not have to legally come back home without being emancipated?


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        It sounds like your home environment is mentally/emotionally draining and your parents aren't giving you what you need. Technically in the state of Arkansas (if that is where you live currently) you cannot legally live on your own until you are 18 unless you receive parental consent to stay wherever you are. It is possible there are shelters/transitional living programs you could stay at, but they would likely at least contact your parents first if you arrived there on your own.

        We're not here to tell you what you should/shouldn't do, however. If you want to run away before you are 18, you can. If you did so your parents could file a runaway report, and law enforcement would investigate where you were and try and return you home. Whomever you were staying with could potentially be charged with a crime if they knew you were under 18 and didn't have your parent's consent to be there.

        If you want to talk more about your parent's behavior and how it's affecting you, or a plan for running away, or anything else, you can always live chat us at or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are here to listen and help as best we can.
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