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Runaway laws in Utah?

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  • Runaway laws in Utah?

    My boyfriend is 17 and turns 18 in 8 months and his mom lives in Henderson, Nevada but he's been staying with his grandparents in St. George, Utah. He wants to move out and live with my family in Mesquite, Nevada. My mom said that since he's 17 he's legally allowed to move out without parent's permission but we don't know all the laws and if we can get in trouble. My mom said he can't be listed as a runaway because he's 17 but we're not sure. How can he get out of his situation legally?

  • #2
    Hi there,
    Thank you for reaching out to us here at NRS. That sounds like a tough situation to be in. Just as a quick disclaimer, we are not legal experts but we can discuss some possibilities and options. We typically suggest reaching out to your local police department, or the police department where your boyfriend’s legal guardians are located, to ask them the legal age of leaving home without permission.
    Leaving home (running away) is not illegal, it is technically labeled as a status offense, which means that the reason it is wrong is because of your age (like staying out past curfew and other things like that). If he were to stay with you and your mother, it is possible that there could be legal ramifications, there are such laws called harboring a runaway laws. These are laws that a parent/guardian can press against a family or people who have the youth in their home without the guardian’s permission. Not every state has these laws so it might be worth talking with your local police department as well, if you are comfortable.
    We hope some of this information helps out and would be more than happy to talk more extensively through this at our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1(800)786-2929 or at our 24/7 online live chat.
    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!


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