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  • 16 and Wondering.

    Hey just want to know the legality of leaving the house at 16. I planned to leave at 17 and I live in Missouri but if I could leave sooner that would be great. I have somewhere to live at and would still go to school, and try to get a job. I am not irresponsible but I don't want to go back to that house anymore than I have to. I have a social worker and she said that even at 17 the police can still take you home if my parents wanted me there. Is this absolutely true or is there anyway around it? Also if I needed to get emancipated how would that work, would my parents need to be okay with that? Do I need there signatures?

    I have dealt with abuse but my Dad said he did everything he did to protect my mother because I was threatening her. I know that isn't true as my Mom was in-between me and my Dad, but also that same night I got into trouble for "sexual misconduct" with a phone that wasn't stolen but my parent didn't give me. They didn't give me a phone, but my two younger brothers got one. I know I was wrong in what I did and have since dealt with that.

    People have come by for counseling and I have to take a psych-evaluation. I also have individual therapy as well as family therapy. But things aren't changing. I have dealt with my part and received 25 community service hours, I am in no way upset or mad and I totally get that what I did was wrong. I am not leaving because of that, I want to leave because I need to be able solve my issues and make my own choices. So any help is welcome.
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: 16 and Wondering.

    Hello and thanks for reaching out on our forum. It sounds like you’re seriously considering leaving your house at 16 or 17. We aren’t legal experts; however, we can go over in general what may happen. We also have basic information on emancipation in the state of Missouri.
    Missouri does not have a formal statute for the emancipation of a minor but a minor at least 16 years old may be considered emancipated when he/she meets the following conditions:

    1) Married with the consent of parent or legal guardian
    2) Has been declared emancipated by the court
    3) Is on active duty in the armed forces
    4) Has written consent of emancipation from parent or legal guardian

    More information can be found here: http://lawdigest.uslegal.com/minors/...of-minor/6568/).

    Our understanding is that while some states view the age of 17 as a gray area, often they still consider you a minor in civil matters until you are 18. That might be what your social worker is referring to as far as stating the police would still take you home if your parents wanted you there. We’re sorry you dealt with abuse and don’t imagine that makes things at home very easy. It sounds like social services might already be involved, but if anything new comes up where you believe you’re being abused you do have the right to report. We recognize that can be scary, so please know we’re here to listen and provide support if you are dealing with abuse.

    It sounds like you are taking responsibility for the sexual misconduct that occurred through your phone which shows maturity. We’re sorry you still don’t feel like your other issues can be solved at home though. If you’d like to further talk about your situation and brainstorm options, feel free to reach out directly. We even offer Live Chat if you prefer to speak online. (Check our website for whether or not it’s open.) Hopefully this helps and 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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Just Checking In.

      Thank you for your reply, so one more question. If the court declares me emancipated then do I need Parent signatures, they have already said that they won't give them, and once I leave I don't want to have to come back to that house. I am scared but i know that this is best for me, also how do you prove "maturity" to the court? It said that if your case was strong enough and if you had stable living conditions, and comfortable monetary income, and also if the court determined you were "mature." I have tried to fix the issues at home, just yesterday I asked my Mom what i would need to change in order to make this work, her reply was- Everything. So, that was crushing to hear.

      Thanks once again for your help!

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: Just Checking In.

        Hello there –

        Thank you for reaching out to us again at the National Runaway Safeline on our public forum. From reading though your post here, it sounds like you have some follow-up questions that you would like help answering. We can surely try to best help you in any way possible.

        To address your concerns about needed your parents signature after you were to get emancipated. If the court does consider you to be an emancipated adult, then you are no longer under the legal care of your parents. So essentially you are an adult once you’ve been awarded emancipated. So you no longer will need their signature for things and you can legally leave the house.

        It is a pretty big decision to make and the outcome isn’t always what you’d expect it to be. There are times when a youth will go to court to try to get emancipated, but the judge will decline for whatever reason and the youth will have to remain at home. It is also quite a long process so there are also accounts of it taking so long that the youth turns 18 before the judge can make a decision. So it’s great that you’re getting all the facts in before you go and file.

        We can’t tell you want they mean by saying that the youth has to be “mature” because we aren’t legal experts or a court system. So the only thing that we can suggest that you do to reach out to either to someone in the juvenile court system or with local legal aid. If you need some numbers for those we can help you find them.

        If you give us a call on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help you find resources in your area and could potentially help you brainstorm a possible solution to the issues you are having. We would love to talk to you about what has been going on recently. We also have an online chat service available every night from 4:30-11:30 PM CST that is available through our website.
        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
          Other options?

          Before I go through with this process is there any other option? This is not a guarantee of getting me out of that house, is their anything that can guarantee this? I am prepared to do anything but runaway, but if I must I do have a plan set in place. I am really hoping that it wont come to that so that's why I am asking if there is any other way to leave home permanently.
          Thanks again.

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: Other options?

            Hello again –

            Thanks again for reaching out to us again here at the National Runaway Safeline. It’s great you’re looking into other options besides emancipation. Because we do get a large number of emails and forum post, we do have to limit to three individual responses to answer any questions that you have or to provide you with a number of means of support. So it’s certainly not a means to communicate to get the full support that you can get if you called in.

            The only way that you will be removed from your parents’ custody legally is if you report any abuse that was happening at home and there was an investigation and they find the house unfit for you to live or if you filed for emancipation (every state is different, but you have to be 16 years or older). Those are the only two ways that you can legally leave your home. Just know that you always have the right to report any abuse (physical, mental, sexual, harassment, and neglect) to your local police department or child protective service in your state. If that is something that you don’t really feel comfortable with doing, you can always give us a call to help answer any questions about the process or to walk you through what steps there are. But if you were looking into emancipation we can give you some general knowledge of that process. Those laws regarding emancipation are different in every state, so we can’t tell you exactly how it works. Another resource that we have for you here that will be able to give you some answers to your questions is a number to a general legal aid agency.
            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

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