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Which State's Laws Apply? / Moving out before 18

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  • Which State's Laws Apply? / Moving out before 18

    I'm 17 and live in Florida, I'll be turning 18 in August this year. My boyfriend recently moved down to Florida from Arizona to be with me, but part-time work with minimum wage isn't enough to support him. His father mostly pays for the rent, but is having a bit of financial troubles. It's a really junky place he's living in with weird roommates. My Dad won't allow my boyfriend to live at our house,and he is very restricting. I never get to spend time with my boyfriend and just talk, my Dad is always there talking non-stop about work or telling us to do the dishes and laundry. My boyfriend and I are planning on moving back to Arizona to live with his Dad until we are financially stable and finish school. We have already worked out almost every possible problem that might arise with insurance, medical needs, school, etc. Things are getting so tough with my Dad that I want to move out sooner, if I can.

    I have a few questions:

    Since I am 6 months away from being a legal adult, would it be likely law enforcenent would return me to my parents if they were called?

    Which state's laws would apply to me once I was in Arizona?

  • #2
    RE: Which State’s Laws Apply? / Moving out before 18

    Hello and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

    It sounds like you and your boyfriend are committed and have a great plan for the future. We’re sorry to hear about how things are going with Dad, but it looks like you’ve thought about a lot of the details and are responsible with your planning.

    We are not legal experts here, but generally it’s up to local law enforcement as to whether or not they’d try and find a 17 year old who ran away. Your father can file a runaway report the minute you haven’t returned home when you’re supposed to, there aren’t any waiting periods. It would usually fall under the laws of the state in which the report would be filed, in this case Florida. You could call your local police to check and see for sure. It’s really up to the specific departments on how they would handle something like this.

    We really hope this helps. If you have any other questions or would like to explore some strategies for dealing with your father, you could call our hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or try our chat service on the website.

    Best of luck to you,

    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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