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I'm Ready to be an Adult

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  • I'm Ready to be an Adult

    I am 15 years old and will be 16 in September. I am aware that technically in New Hampshire (where I live), emancipation isn't legal before you're 18. But I cannot live here anymore. I am almost done with school. I am a junior in high school but there are only two more credits that I need to graduate and I have figured out a way to do those online and graduate that way by the end of the summer. I start work on April 1st and will work part time until the school year is over in June. At that point, I start work full time and then the job is over in September. In September, I have to start looking for a full-time job. My mother will not let me live at home without working full-time next year and I agree that it is the right thing to do. I am still too young to fully start college, but I have considered taking a class or two at a local college next year while I work.

    So my plan (my dreamy fantasy plan) is that in September:
    I will be completely done with high school, I will be working full time, I will be financially independent, working full time, and will have my driver's license. These things are perfectly achievable but I cannot stay at home a minute longer than is absolutely needed. Sooo..... I was wondering if there was a way that in September (if not sooner) I could be living on my own.

  • #2
    RE: I'm Ready to be an Adult

    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us and posting on the NRS public forum. It sounds like you have worked hard to set yourself up for success and wish to be completely independent. You are about to complete high school early and have already begun the job searching process. It is really great to hear about your future plans and see where you hope to end up.

    We are not legal experts here at NRS, but we can speak generally on this topic. You are correct in that New Hampshire does not have a process for emancipation before 18. An individual in New Hampshire is considered emancipated / a legal adult when they turn 18, marry, or enter the armed forces. It can be frustrating that this may seem like a dead end when you are simply trying to start your own life. Generally what typically happens in each state is if you are below the legal age of majority, your parents would be able to make a runaway report in the event that you do run away. Since it’s only considered a statues offense and not a crime to run away, the only thing that would happen is that the police will pick you up and bring you back home. This is of course if you had any interaction with the police directly or if they stopped you to ask you a few questions.

    Most states recognize that if your parent gives you permission to live outside of the home, that is okay. However, the parent could change their mind, which could result in you having to move back home. A possibility could be talking with mom about living outside of the home with a roommate, family member, or yourself to gain permission to leave. But it sounds like you have been thinking about leaving from home for quite some time now. That might be a very hard thing for a 15 year old to do. What would your overall plan be (i.e long term housing, transportation, financial stability, access to food/clothes, school, etc.)? Having a solid plan about what you are planning on doing it might be a good idea so that you can think about what is reasonably possible for you to do and want isn’t.

    If you would like to discuss further and talk about how this big decision is affecting your life now and in the future, we encourage you to call us here at 1 800-Runaway. We can help you come up with a plan for dealing with the possibility of staying in your home until 18 or discussing further how to talk with mom.
    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
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