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Can I move out 3 months before I turn 18 in Tennessee?

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  • Can I move out 3 months before I turn 18 in Tennessee?

    My mother is physically and mentally abusive. However , since I cannot prove it to the police, they have informed me I have to "tough it out" until I turn 18. I do not feel safe in my environment what so ever. Recently, I was informed I could legally choose where I want to live 6 months before I turn 18. I'm assuming this is meaning parents. However, my dad has given up his parental rights and is no longer involved in my life. My brother is planning on getting an apartment though. I was wondering if the same rule would apply to my brother. Could I choose to live with him for the remainder of time?

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    Re: Can I move out 3 months before I turn 18 in Tennessee?

    Hi there-

    Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing your story. We see that you’ve been experiencing abuse in your home from your mother, and that the police have been rather unhelpful in getting you in a safe situation. You also shared that your father has given up parental rights and that you’re wondering if you can move in with your brother until you turn 18.

    First and foremost, your safety is of the utmost importance to us. We’re sorry to hear that you’re being treated this way in your home; you deserve to be treated with care and respect, especially by those whose job it is to take care of you. We want you to know that you are so brave for remaining strong and that you are not alone. There are many resources that exist to provide support to folks just like you. One option to consider in situations like this is reporting the abuse to Child Protective Services. You mentioned that the police have not helped you, so reaching out to CPS might help because their sole job is to keep you safe. We know that this can be difficult to think about sometimes, so if you’d like to give us a call we can give you more information about this process and, if you do decide to report it, we could even stay on the line with you to provide support. ChildHelp is also a great resource that provides support to youth in abusive situations, and if you want to reach out to them they could give you information, support, and referrals that could all be of assistance. Their line is confidential, anonymous, open 24/7, and can be reached at 1-800-422-4453.

    Unfortunately, we are not too familiar with this law that states you can choose where to live in the months leading up to you turning 18. It’s great to hear that you have the support of your brother, but these kinds of things vary from state to state and even county to county, so it’s hard to give you a definitive answer on whether that would be an option for you. However, if we can get a better look at your situation we might be able to connect you with resources that can give you more concrete legal information on the matter. We could also discuss other options you may have in regards to keeping yourself safe and happy.

    We want to wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you soon.
    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)


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