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16 YO in Colorado looking to move out without parental consent

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  • 16 YO in Colorado looking to move out without parental consent

    I'm not in a physically abusive home, but it is certainly a toxic environment that is affecting school and everyday life. I currently have a stable well-paying job, but due to cost of living in my hometown it'd be stupid to stay. My plan is to drop out of high school after this year, then move to Oregon as I have both friends and family (a brother) able to assist me if need me. I would then complete my GED (I've already started studying), look for jobs, and then possibly attend a community college or trade school. What could my parents legally do about this? I've saved to support myself independently for around 6 months Oregon until I get a job. Would I legally be able to rent an apartment or is this impossible without parental consent? I'd likely move in with my brother to save money until it didn't make sense any more. Could my parents (theoretically) come here and just force me to come home? How stupid would this be? I'm not going to die living here for two years longer, but is the two years of financial buffer I'd get staying (my parents are upper-middle class) really worth my mental stability?

    The other thing I'm concerned about is related to a trust fund my grandpa has setup some kind of fund (I'm not naming specifics because I don't want to mislabel it, I could probably dig up more) my siblings have used to attend higher education. Would this be forfeited if I left? Could my parents cut me off from it?

    Just need some advice before I make many plans. Hoping for a better future
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 03-30-2019, 06:57 AM.

  • #2
    Reply: #1 16 YO in Colorado looking to move out without parental consent

    Thank you for writing to us here at the National Runaway Safeline.

    We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like you are trying to decide what to do about leaving home or staying but have some questions. Though we can understand being frustrated by a situation it’s good that you are taking your time in making a decision. Unfortunately we can't predict the future. One thing we can say is that running away probably will cause changes as to how you will survive. Some things to consider are where you will stay? How will you eat? How do you keep yourself safe? Basically the question you might ask of yourself is: Will running away make my situation better or worse?
    One that might help during a difficult time is by making a check list to see if you have done all that you can to resolve whatever conflict you might be having about something or someone. Next is to examine how you have attempted to do this. Consider what the best form of communication is to get across your feelings about the situation.
    It is also important that you remember to exercise self- care.

    While we are not experts on the law, someone under 18 that leaves home, the parent/guardian may file them as a runaway and they may be returned home. Also, those that a reported runaway stays with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally. For more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the police. You might also look for a legal aid center in the area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject.
    NRS is here to listen and here to help.
    We would like to be of assistance to you if we can. It is times like these that it would be nice to have a listening ear.
    We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in more about your plan and tell us more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.

    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).

    We hope to hear from you soon.

    Take care,

    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: Your Opinion Matters to Us
    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 So first Id like to say that Im not in an abusive household. However I am in a toxic situation. My parents are constantly using weed and alcohol and encouraging me to do the same. I have tried and tried to get clean and sober but it is nearly impossible in this environment. I have had some mental health issues that I have had to deal with on my own and are constantly used against me. My mother has told me to kill myself on many occasions and her and my step father are constantly in heated fights. The police have been called to my house on multiple occasions. I have run away before as an act of rebellion but this time Im trying more to move out. The cost of living in my state is way to high to live on my own. My significant other and 2 more close friends share a house. They are 100% compliant with me moving in. Im 16 but I cannot drive and I dont have a job. Im currently in online school. My plan is to move out, and into this house. I would be completing my online school work during the mornings and working full time evenings and nights. I would have a ride both too and from work. I would be put on either my boyfriend or significant others insurance until I could be emancipated and gain my own insurance policy. I read online that if you move out without your parents permission, and you are labeled as a runaway, you can go to the police station with identified and your new address to be taken off of the missing person list, and that if you are in a safe environment you are unlikely to be forced back. Once that investigation opens I would use that as a basis for my emancipation. The place I would be going will encourage my sobriety and help my mental health as I wont be in a toxic place. The part that worries me about this process is the fact that my boyfriend is 24 but I am only 16. My parents are compliant of the relationship and while it is slightly disproportionate it is within the Colorado statutory rape guidlines. We arent having sex on top of that. Im concerned that the court will force me to cone back to my home because the place I plan to move is also with my boyfriend. Any advice?


      • ccsmod13
        ccsmod13 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to NRS. It sounds like your parents have been making home a really negative environment and asking for help was the right thing to do. Your safety and well-being are very important and should come first. It is not okay that your parents are putting you in harms way and are discouraging your sobriety.

        We are not legal experts by any means, but we can share some general info with you. If you leave without permission your parents can attempt to file a runaway report. This is not a crime and you will not be arrested. If the the police know where you are they might return you home. In some cases police are much more lenient with running away when the person is closer to 18 and they might not return you home if you are safe. The best way to know for sure what the runaway protocol is in your area is to call the non-emergency number for the local police and ask what they would do in this situation which can be done anonymously.

        It is really great that you feel confident this new living situation will encourage your sobriety and be supportive while you work and finish school. These are all things that will certainly help your emancipation case. Although emancipation can be a long and difficult process and it is not a guarentee. We can't give you any absolute answers about what might help or hinder your petition as it is case to case and up to the discretion of a judge. If you call (800-786-2929) or chat with us (click the CHAT button on the homepage) we can look for legal aide resources in your area that can better address some of your legal concerns.

        You can reach out again anytime if you want to talk more in detail about your situation and explore your options. We are here 24/7 to listen and help.

        Good luck,

    • #4
      i don’t live in a physically abusive home but there are lots of moments where i do get hit and they are my fault. but my family is extremely toxic to me and only me really. i have a job working as a waitress and my friend told me her home is open to me and if i wanted i could move in. i know this could and would change if i ran away but i’m tired of my family and treating me like trash. i know i don’t have it rough but i just can’t stay here it’s been mentally affecting me with school and my social life i can’t take this anymore.


      • ccsmod3
        ccsmod3 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
        While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
        We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        Be safe,
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