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Can I leave my home at 16 without my parents' consent?

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  • Can I leave my home at 16 without my parents' consent?

    HI. I wanted to do this on the live chat thingy but it wasn't working for some reason, like it wouldn't let me type...but anyway I am 15 right now and
    I hate living with my family. I want to move out as soon as possible. I want to wait till I'm 16 though so I can drive. The only problem is that I know my
    parents won't let me. If I move out without their consent, can I get arrested? I live in Kentucky btw. Also, I think I am emotionally abused, but how am I
    supposed to prove that? I really want to just run away when I turn 16, but I'm afraid I'll be forced to return to my parents,and my dad will be super angry
    at me. I am scared of what he would do If I ran away and then had to return. Can I be legally forced to go home if I refuse? If I have to go to court or some
    thing will I need a lawyer? How will I pay for it? Thanks for the help in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Can I leave my home at 16 without my parents' consent?

    Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline.
    We apologize for the issues that you experienced using our live chat service. Hours of operation are from 4:30 to 11:30 pm CT.
    It sounds like you are having a hard time living at home with your family and you would like to move out as soon as possible but would like to wait until you can drive. You sound like a really smart person to seek out help in your time of need. You asked about what kind of trouble that you can get into for leaving home without your parents’ consent. Leaving home without parental consent (running away) is not a crime, so the police will not arrest you. If you do leave home without permission your guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. Running away is not a crime it is a status offence (something that only a minor can get in trouble for truancy, buying cigarettes, etc.) this means that if you have any interaction with the police they will simply return you home. On the other hand the people that you are found to be staying with could face legal consequences that vary depending on state. You can find out more about how runaway’s reports are carried out by contacting your local police department. If you would like we could contact your local non-emergency number for you or with you. Just give us a call and one of our trained liners would be happy to assist you.
    You questioned how are you supposed to prove that you are being emotionally abused. While we cannot tell you what you are feeling what we can do is provide you with https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/ this is the National Child Abuse hotline’s website and they have their definition of abuse and resources of how to report it.
    If you feel comfortable you can give us a call and one of our trained liners will be happy to assist you. 1-800-RUNAWAY
    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
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi.. I’m Joseph and I live in New Mexico. It’s been really hard living at home with my mom. I am 16 years old and I am the youngest out of 4 and a full time student. I have continuously argued with my mom over many things and it’s like I’m locked in a jail cell. I leave home for school and come straight back home and can’t go anywhere unless it’s with her. I get blamed for all of the things that happen at home. My youngest sister (11) ditches school and my mom does nothing But when i get in trouble at school I get my phone taken away and/or my phone is shut off and I can’t message anyone. I’m not aloud to see my girlfriend unless it’s been like 2 months apart. I can not go out with friends on The Weeknd’s or after school. And I just feel so depressed living with her. I want to leave home and move in with my girlfriend but I’m scared to do so.. I need help please

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline. We understand that it takes a great deal of courage to seek help. We are sorry to hear that you have been arguing with your mom a lot. It sounds like you want to leave home and move in with your girlfriend. Since you under 18, if you decide to leave home without your mom's permission, she has the right to file a runaway report. With a runaway report, if the police find you they would return you home. Running away is not illegal but if you decide to move in with your girlfriend, her family could get in trouble for harboring a runaway. You could try asking your mom if she would allow you to stay with another family member.Another option that you have is to look into emancipation laws for your state. If there is any abuse in your home, you could contact Child Protective Services. They would conduct an investigation and if they determine that you live in an unsafe living environment then they would remove you from your home. If you have any other questions or you just want to talk, please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat. We are here to listen and help in the best way that we can.



        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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    • #4
      I am 16 and my dad is awful to live with I have tree siblings and I am the oldest. I don't want to live here anymore and I'm 16 in nh. I looked at another site and they sai that 16 year Olds have the right to leave home with put parents consent. Is this true? My dad is abusive and takes medicine for his biopolar disorder but when he's off its awful. I have picture of bruises on my neck and my friends have seen it is there anyway I can get out of this without going to court? Could I just leave? And if I did go to court where would they place me?

      Comment


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi,
        Thank you so much for reaching out. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for support. No one ever deserves to be hurt. You ask good questions. Though we are not legal experts, we can give some general information and some resources to hopefully point you in the right direction. Since you are still a minor (in most states, you would be considered a minor until you’re 1, you would need parental consent to leave home. If you leave before then, your family would have the right to file a runaway report and if the police are able to locate you, they may return you home. However, since there is abuse involved this may change the situation. Your safety is our number one priority, and if you believe that leaving home immediately is the safest option, that’s valid. You might consider staying with a friend or family member, or a runaway shelter. We urge you to file an abuse report once you are in a safe place. You can do that by calling your local police or by calling the National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453. This hotline can give you more information about abuse reporting, what might happen if you do report, where you might be placed if you decide to report, and other questions that you might have. If this is unclear or if you need help locating resources or anything else, we would love to hear from you through our hotline or live chat. Our number is 1-800-786-2929.
        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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    • #5
      Okay so I'm 15 ill be 16 in May but I have run away in November and the cops brought me back I live with my aunt and uncle because my parents just aren't around to care. Im unhappy and depressed because I don't wanna be here but they tell me there's nothing I can do about it and when I said something about legalizing at 16 they said I was dumb and it wouldn't work for me. I just wanted to know what I can do and if I leave when im 16 without consent will I get arrested or what will happen to me. I have places I could go they just won't let me. I can't go to court I have no money and they don't even know I'm writing this or I'd be in trouble. Any advice would be appreciated.

      Comment


      • #6
        Reply: Okay so I'm 15 ill be 16 in May

        Hello,
        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.
        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.

        NRS is here to listen and here to help.
        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 detail, please contact NRS at 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.1800Runaway.org (live chat).

        We hope that this information is helpful to you! We’d love to hear what you think about your experience with the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). If you have a moment, please click the link below our signature line to fill out a quick survey.

        Take Care,
        NRS
        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
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #7
          I am 16 years old and I live with my awful father in Connecticut. He basically neglects me and only cares for his other daughter. He only uses me to babysit and for money when it comes to income taxes. I just wanted to know if someone came to get me can I leave with out my fathers consent? I have many messages of things he has said to me that are just not right n he even took my door of the hinges so I have no privacy in my own room.

          Comment


          • ccsmod5
            ccsmod5 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks so much for reaching out. It sounds like your father is not at all supportive and it must be frustrating that he uses you to babysit and give him money. You deserve better than that and we’re so sorry to hear that you have to deal with that.
            You mention that your father is neglectful and it sounds like he’s said inappropriate things to you through text. You always have the right to notify child protective services if your dad is neglecting you or abusing you in any way. For more information about that process and what might happen if you do make an abuse report, you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
            In regards to your question, we are not legal experts but generally speaking if you are under 18 years old you need your legal guardian’s permission to leave home. So if you leave home without your dad’s permission, he would have the right to file a runaway report and if the police are able to locate you they may return you home. However, police response to your situation may vary depending on whether they deem your situation unsafe or not.
            Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
            Stay safe!

        • #8
          Hi, I'm 15 about to turn 16 I can't stand being with my family they yell alot and I really wanna move out. I love in Pennsylvania and it's a very long process and I don't wanna go through all of this I just wanna go live with my best friend...what do I do

          Comment


          • #9
            Reply: Hi, I'm 15 about to turn 16

            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.
            As of right now you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options.

            NRS is here to listen and here to help, however we cannot tell you what you should do in this situation. You know your situation best.

            You are welcome to contact us at 1-800-Runaway or www.1800Runaway.org to talk and explore options.

            We look forward to hearing from you.

            Take care,
            NRS
            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
            info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

            Tell us what you think about your experience!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment


            • #10
              I am 15 will be 16 in two months . I HATE living with my family , they drink all the time , I am forced to watch my little brother for hours on end my older cousin just moved in and now he watches him alot but I don' have any friends she moved me away from all of them and my family . My aunt and uncle wants me to move in with them and are willing to pay my way to get there but I am scared of what my mom might do , she said I could move out last night and now she's saying I can't, I am in deep depression here and want out

              Comment


              • ccsmod3
                ccsmod3 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                Thanks for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline and sharing a little bit about what is going. It takes a lot of courage to reach out and especially in a time where you have a really tough and complex situation at home.
                You talked about how you are currently in a deep depression and are wanting out. One way you can seek help is reaching out to a friend, teacher, or counselor at school that can help you look for resources. Your mental health is important. You can also look at SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) at samhsa.gov or call them directly at 1-877-726-4727 to help you find the support that you need. If you do ever feel in direct danger, to yourself, or some else makes you feel that way, please call out to 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).

                We aren’t legal experts, but we have general knowledge about running away. In most states, running away isn’t illegal, but what is called a status offense. You can’t get arrested for it but it will mostly likely go on your record until you are 18. The police will only know if you have runaway if your parents/guardians file a police report. We can’t say for sure how the police will respond, but we hear a lot that police will take potential places you might be and will actively search for you. If they come across you, the most likely will return you home to your parents. Sometimes we hear that if you are staying with someone who knows you are a runaway and are not actively trying to return you or finding shelter for you, your guardians/or police can press charges against the people who are housing you, with something that is called harboring. One of our main goals is to make sure you are safe, so if you ever seriously decide to run away and need shelter, resources, or a safe place to go you can find safe locations at nationalsafeplace.org or reach out to us directly and we can find local resources in your area.

                We are here for you and will support you in anyway that we can. Please feel free to call into us directly as we can talk further about your situation and find resources that are best for you in your area. Stay strong and you are not alone in this! Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY we are open 24/7.

                -NRS

                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 support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey.
                Tell us what you think about your experience!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

            • #11
              Hi, I’m 15 and I’m really stressed living at my home in Georgia. My mother’s mom has custody of me. So my nana and my papa have custody of me. My mother lives in the home but she gets very little say so over what I can and can’t do along with my 2 sisters. I have a boyfriend that I have been dating for a year now and he is the only person who actually sees what I go through. I have thought about self harm but because of him I haven’t done anything. I’m very thankful. Sadly he is moving to Virginia soon and I was thinking about just leaving with him and his mother. What could happen if I was to just leave with them? I turn 16 in December and I would really like to get out of my house because I’m always emotionally torn apart because of all the stress.

              Comment


              • ccsmod5
                ccsmod5 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi, there,
                Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like being at home is really stressful for you and that your boyfriend has been a great source of support for you. We aren’t legal experts, but generally speaking you would need your legal guardians’ permission to leave home and live with your boyfriend and his mother. In this case, that would be your nana and papa. If you leave without their permission, they would have the right to file a runaway report and if the police are able to locate you they may return you home. In addition, there is a possibility that your boyfriend’s mom would run into legal issues.
                We know this isn’t exactly what you wanted to hear, but hopefully we can give you some other options. It sounds like home is very stressful for you—one option could be to talk to your mom or grandparents about how their environment is stressful for you. That conversation could also be a time for you to ask about living elsewhere. This can be a difficult conversation to have, so if you need help having a respectful conversation with your family please feel free to give us a call. One of our liners can mediate a call between you.
                You mention that you have thought of self-harm but haven’t done anything because of your boyfriend. If you are unable to get out of this situation, it could be helpful to think of a safety plan for if you do feel like you may hurt yourself. Perhaps your boyfriend could still be there by phone or video chat to support you. Another resource that could be helpful is the blog, To Write Love on Her Arms: twloha.com. This blog is meant as a space for young people engaging in self harm to read about others going through similar situations. Another resource that could be helpful is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
                Thank you for reaching out. It takes a lot of courage to share what’s going on and to look for other options. Please feel free to reach out if you need someone to listen or help you think about your options. Take care and stay strong!

            • #12
              I'm 15 I live in ct I'm turning 16 in January but since I was a kid I lived with my grandma but she passed away recently but when I live with my grandma my aunt live with me too and I never live with my mom it was no court order or anything I just stood there that's all I wanted to know when I hit 16 in January can I go living room with my aunt in New York City where would I get in trouble for leaving my mom's house please let me know because I'm really think about leaving my mom's house because I never lived with her and I don't like living with her it's sucks and I'm not used to living with her so I just wanted to know can I live in my aunt house when I turn 16 without getting it legal trouble

              Comment


              • ccsmod15
                ccsmod15 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                It can be difficult to ask for help, and we are glad you reached out to us. It can be difficult to lose someone, and we are sorry your grandma passed. It sounds like you are trying to figure out if you can live with your aunt when you turn 16.

                We are not legal experts and there can be different consequences for leaving the home of your legal guardian. In most states you are considered a minor until you turn 18. That means that regardless of if you are 15 or 16, if you leave your legal guardian without consent, there could be consequences. If you leave your mom’s house and she calls the police, there could be consequences for both you and whoever you are staying with.

                In addition to being available online, we have a 24/7 hotline and are always here to provide additional support and resources. It sounds like you have a lot to think through and we are here to help you process it. Please do not hesitate to call.

                Good luck,
                NRS

            • #13
              Hi, I’m Tiandra and I don’t like living with my mom. It nothing but arguments and I feel so trapped. I stay with her because of my little sister. I have a dad and I want to live with him and he’s more kind and helping when I’m in trouble or just with my mom and it’s really bad. My mom doesn’t talk to me like my dad. And I just want to leave but don’t want to get sent back here. I’m 16 about to turn 17 In November and it’s just really hard to live with a negative and unsupported Mom. Please help I need advice.

              Comment


              • ccsmod2
                ccsmod2 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeliine (NRS). We understand that it takes courage to seek help. We are sorry to hear about your situation with your mom. It sounds like you would like to stay with your dad. You could try asking your dad if he would talk to your mom about the possibility of you staying with him. You may want to consider contacting Child Help (1-800-422-4453) for information on how to transfer custody. Another option that you could look into is emancipation laws for your state.We hope that this information helps, please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat if you have any questions or just want to talk.

            • #14
              Can a 16 yr old leave home without parents consent

              Comment


              • ccsmod6
                ccsmod6 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello, thank you for calling the National Runaway Safeline. We are here to listen and hopefully can help in some way.
                It seems like you have some questions about being 16 and leaving home. We are not legal experts here but we can provide some general information about what we know to be true about running away. Typically, at 16 in most states youth are still underage. Parents of youth who leave home can file a runaway report which is something known as a status offense. This usually does not come with legal consequences like jail time unless a crime is committed in the act of the youth running away. What usually happens is the youth is returned home by the police or brought to a secure location until they are placed or can be picked up by a qualified adult like a legal guardian. If the youth is legally at 16 then they are usually free to leave home or move out whenever they want to. Other instances of 16 year olds being able to leave without a parents consent are in cases of abuse. If the child is being abused and leaves home for their safety. While a runaway report is still able to be filed, the youth can attempt to report the abuse to your local CPS agency. If this is the case they also has the option to report to Child Help, a national child abuse hotline at 1-800-452-4453, or www.childhelp.org . Reporting may be beneficial to presenting some past information on why they youth has left home. Police may prioritize the safety of the youth over the runaway report made.
                Hopefully some of this information was helpful. We appreciate you reaching out the NRS and encourage you to call us at 1800-RUNAWAY with more questions or for resources.

                -NRS
                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 support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

            • #15
              I am currently 15 and I’m turning 16 in December. I read that you can move out at 16 without parent consent and that state will not place you back home unless you are in danger. Is that true? I feel as if I’m trapped in my room all day. But that’s my choice. I hate being around my family all they do is make me clean and my mom yells at me for stupid stuff and I they use me to babysit and get furious when I don’t. I feel like I’m emotional abused. I have a safe place to move when I turn 16. I’m just wondering if I’ll get in trouble and how I can make it happen. And if I do decide to move out could my mom force me to stay?

              Comment


              • ccsmod0
                ccsmod0 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have a question that a lot of our other users have, about being able to leave your toxic household to live independently. We have attached a link to the thread, that we think can be of some use. If you read through this thread we believe that you may find the answers you seek.
                https://bulletinboards.1800runaway.o...arents-consent
                In addition to being available online, we have a 24/7 hotline and are always here to provide additional support and resources. It sounds like you have a lot to think through and we are here to help you process it. Please do not hesitate to call. 1800-786-2929
                Good luck,
                NRS
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