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

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  • I am 15 and turning 16 in two days, my mom's bf is controlling and we moved in with him a year ago but we hardly knew him. Hes said hurtful things about my family and continues to control what I do. I don't act out and get good grades. I have to beg just to leave the house for an hour or 2. He keeps taking away more of my privacy. I want to move in with my other family members in another state but my mom won't let me. Can I leave and move out to with my family? Or will they get in trouble for taking me?

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    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out. Sounds like a super hard situation moving in with your mom's boyfriend and having him be so controlling.
      We are not legal experts but in general, 18 is the age of majority/adulthood in most states. Leaving without permission before that age, your parent can file a runaway report with police. It is not a crime to runaway, it is called a status offense, meaning you can't do it because of your age. Even though running away is not a crime, an adult who helps you may be at risk of harboring a runaway. It is a misdemeanor and is not a common charge, but is is a possibility.
      We offer conference calling if you think having a third party talk with you and your mom to mediate the conversation could be helpful. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929. You may also consider asking some of those out-of-state family members to help you talk with your mom. Sometimes having that neutral person can help alleviate some tension.

      We are so glad you reached out! We are 24/7 by phone and our website's chat.

      Be safe and happy early birthday!

      -NRS

  • Hi I am 16 years old and I'm wondering if I'd be able to leave home and move out, things are happening here at !y house like it an argument broke out that my dad would but me and the last time he told me to get a pair of clothes and get out the house and that he disowns me what we that means and said he doesn't care anymore and my mom is telling me to just go and leave the house if I don't like it here and I'm just basically stuck but she keeps threatening me by saying she'll call the cops on me and that she'll take me to juvenile so i don't know what to do
    Last edited by ccsmod11; 07-14-2019, 04:31 PM. Reason: removed name

    Comment


    • ccsmod11
      ccsmod11 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there! Thanks for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to hear that you’re having a rough time at home. It sounds like a really difficult and stressful situation. We here to listen and help the best way we can.

      You wanted to know if you can move out. We aren’t legal experts but we can give you some general information so you can decide what’s best for you. If you leave home without your parents’ permission, that would be considered running away and your parents could file a runaway report with the police. Running away isn’t a crime so you can’t be arrested for that alone. However if the police find you, in most cases they will be obligated to return you to your parents. If the people that you are staying with know your situation, they could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor crime.

      There might be some other options besides running away. If your parents are willing to let you stay with a nearby friend or relative, you could print a temporary guardianship form from the internet. All parties would have to sign in and have it sealed by a notary. That way you can leave and your parents couldn’t claim you ran away. Another option would be a transitional living place (TLP) if your parents agree to it. If you wanted with this option, we could look up some local TLP’s in your area.

      We’re sorry that you are facing such a tough situation at home. Reaching out and asking for help is a big step to help yourself. We’re here to listen and help the best way we can. If you want to explore these options or see if there are other options available, you can call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat online with us at www.1800runaway.org. Hope this helps! Stay strong.

  • I’m 16 I live in Florida I don’t get along with my step mom or her kids and my dad doesn’t stick up for me I have to stick up for myself my dad just lets my step mom do whatever.I have a job I’ll be 17.I feel very alone an nobody is ever asking me if I’m okay I feel very suicidal living here like every time I turn around an look in the mirror I want to hurt myself I lost my mother at a very young age and I miss her so much.My friends parents are very nice and are willing to let me stay with them am I allowed to move in with them without parental consent?My parents won’t let me get emancipated so I was wondering if I am allowed to leave and move in with my friends parents?I will still be attending school.Over here when I’m with my dad and my step mom and her kids at this house I’ve fallen into a deep depression and I just want out of it.I hurt so badly over here.

    Comment


    • ccsmod11
      ccsmod11 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks so much for reaching out to NRS. It sounds like you have been through so much, and it’s understandable that you’d be feeling hurt and overwhelmed and looking for a way out of that environment.
      No one deserves to struggle with the pain of suicidal thoughts. Have you ever talked to anyone about how you’ve been feeling? Sometimes just being able to get things off your chest and tell someone can make a big difference. One idea could be making an appointment with a counselor at school. At NRS, we can also help you find free or low-cost mental health resources like therapists in your area if you give us a call at 1-800-786-2929. If you ever feel like you might act on your thoughts about suicide or harming yourself, you can call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

      We’re not legal experts, but until you turn 18 in Florida, you need your parents’ or guardians’ permission to leave home. If you went to live with your friends without your dad and stepmom’s permission, they could report you as a runaway and the police could bring you home. To become emancipated, you would need to go before a judge and prove that you are attending school and are also financially independent (able to pay for food, housing, and medical care without anyone else’s help). This is usually pretty difficult, but you can get more details by calling the Florida Legal Aid hotline at 1-800-625-2257.

      Another option to consider might be talking to your parents about how you’ve been feeling, and ways that they could make living at home better for you. Sometimes asking another adult—like a counselor, a friend’s parent, or another family member -- to help talk to your parents with you can make them more likely to listen. At NRS, we offer a conference calling service where a trained volunteer helps mediate a call between a youth and their parents to make sure the conversation stays respectful and everyone has a chance to be heard. You can learn more by calling us at 1-800-786-2929 any time.

      Best, NRS

  • I’m 16 in less then 2 months and I NEED to get away from my mom she is emotionally and physically abusive ive tried EVERYTHING to fix our relationship and it’s gon broken and not to be fixed.... I wanna know if she can sign over her rights to me and I be own my own considered an adult and able to leave the house “with permission “ ? As an adult

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like you are going through an incredibly difficult time right now. Abuse is never okay and we are sorry you are having to deal with that. If you would like to make an abuse report you can call Child Help at 1800-422-4453. If you ever feel in immediate danger please call 911.
      We are not legal experts but do have some information on the laws. If your mother would like to give up her parental rights you would most likely need to file for emancipation. You can find out about emancipation by calling your local court house and requesting more information. If you give us a call we can provide you with some legal aid resources that could also help with the emancipation process.
      We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore your options more please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support tp you. We wish you the best of luck, stay strong!
      NRS

  • I’m a 15 year old girl,hating my life;living with my verbal abusive parents along with struggling to maintain their vision as a good kid and their expectations.What they see me now is what they hate,it’s draining me,along the way I’ve developed depression and anxiety,which led me to cut.I want to leave everything behind and have a better life for myself without them.But I’m waiting til I’m 16 which is in two months,to save enough money.I plan to run off on my bike,cause honestly I don’t care about driving,and leave for good.I live in a small town in Texas .Will I get stoped and will the police search for me to take me back ‘home’.And do I have the right to not go back ‘home’.Can I also get an apartment at 16.And please don’t say see a therapist or talk to your parents about your feelings.No,money issues is a problem in my household and their constantly fighting about it.Could I also bounce around my friends homes homes or will they get in trouble if the police find me.I really wanna do this to but Im scared.
    Last edited by ccsmod7; 07-20-2019, 02:57 PM. Reason: identifying town

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like things have really taken a toll on you at home and you are planing on leaving in a couple months. No type of abuse is okay, and we truly want to be a support for you during this difficult time.

      To answer your questions, if you leave home at 16 in Texas your guardians can file you as a runaway with local police. If you are found by police, they typically would return you home. If you are able to show police evidence that home is unsafe, they could get Child Protective Services (CPS) involved to try and investigate what is going on at home. If you resist police, it is hard to say what could happen, that would be up to the responding officer. If you are found by police at a friend's place, the legal adult who knowingly houses you as a runaway could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway bu your parents; which is a misdemeanor charge. Finding an apartment at 16 could be difficult, because it is generally illegal for someone to lease an apartment to a minor. If you know of anyone who would informally be able to rent out a room to you, that might be an easier option.

      We hear you when you say you are not interested in knowing about other options with parents or therapists, and we do not want to give you information that you do not want. If you ever would like help brainstorming other possible options, or if you need resources or support please know that we are always here for you via phone and chat: 1-800-RUNAWAY; www.1800runaway.org. You mentioned that you have developed depression and have cut, and it is clear that you are feeling very down and unsafe at home. You can always reach out to us or NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) at 1-800-950-NAMI or text NAMI to 741741.

      Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you need any other assistance. Best of luck,

      NRS
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