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Moving Out?

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  • Moving Out?

    I'm currently 15 years old and my parents verbally abuse me constantly and leave me to clean the house and cook for them. They said that I can move out at 16. Is there a way that I can actually go to court and make that happen? I'm starting to actually hate them and I don't think I can stand them much longer, especially not 3 more years.

  • #2
    RE: Moving Out?

    Hello there –

    Thank you so much for getting in touch with us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’re going through a very difficult time right now and we really want to help you. Hopefully by helping you on our public forum, there are others that are in similar situations and be helped as well. No one deserves to be treated like that at all. Just know that you always have the right to report any abuse (physical, mental, sexual, or neglect) to your local police department, family member, 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. It can be frustrating to have to clean and cook for them all the time especially being only 15 years old. At that age the responsibilities of a kid to worry about making friends, staying out of trouble, and getting good grades in schools. It’s no wonder that you want to leave home.

    The only way that you will be removed from your parents’ custody legally and live somewhere else is if you were to report any abuse that was happening at home and there was an investigation or if you filed for emancipation (every state is different, but you have to be 16 years or older) or if there was a court decision to transfer custody to someone else. Those are the only three ways that you could legally leave home at 16. For transferring custody from one person to another isn’t that easy. They will have to go to family court, petition to be your legal guardian, and your parents would have to be willing to give up their own rights. 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. What we know is that getting emancipated by the court is a process that does take a while (about 6 months or a year). There also needs to be proof that the youth is able to support him or herself on their own and in some cases they will need to have their parents’ permission to get emancipated. Other requirements sometime indicate that there needs to be witnesses to count for how “mature” the youth is and that they have had to have lived independently from their parents for a certain amount of time. For more specific details on what you would need in order to file for emancipation it would be advised to reach out to your local juvenile county court.

    Another thing is that it’s going to be very hard to find an apartment that doesn’t require at least some type of credit to show that you are relatable in paying your rent and it’s going to be hard to find somewhere that will rent to anyone under the age of 18. If you do run away, we don't want you to be on the streets were it can get to be a little dangerous so a resource that you might be able to look into if you’re looking for a safe place to go, would be to visit The National Safeplace website ( This organization provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need. You can look up your city and state to see if there is any safe places near you listed. They are usually places like designated school, fire stations, libraries, etc. So that is always an option if you feel like go to talk to someone in person and what has been going on. As far as going back to school from what we know, it might be hard for you to register for school without a guardian and the proper paperwork needed from your old school.
    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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