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

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi my names Sammie
    I wanted to know if im aloud to move out and in with people i trust because in my house its a very toxic place my parents are hippocritical assholes who flip me off ******** talk me 24/7 they deprive me and my sister of our needs like clothes that fit and basics like razors and deodorant there are times where there is no soaps in the shower but my mom has her own that she hides and buys her self all the time so when we are out she doesn’t care because she has her stuff my dad tells me to pack up and leave cusses me out hits me and my siblings and makes us feel as if we will never be good enough no matter how hard we try im 16 and my boyfriend said hes tired of me crying every night because of how ass my parents are and i should move in with him i want to know if i leave without asking my parents and move from ct to ri can i get me or my boyfriend into trouble im getting a job he is about to have a job hes waiting for a call back and his grampa is letting us live in his house till we can afford our own

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  • ccsmod6
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We’re sorry to hear that your parents are being inappropriately violent towards you. They should never physically harm or endanger you and it is awful that they have.

    While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. It is not illegal to run away. Your parent/guardian could file a runaway report on you but this would NOT mean that you would get arrested or charged with anything. It typically does mean that the police could return you home if they encountered you and that would be that. Some police can be more understanding about what is going on at your home. In our experience, police will oftentimes return the youth back to their guardian almost no matter what. Police typically do not actively search for a runaway youth. However, they will go where the parent/guardian directs them if they know where you are staying. Additionally, police can sometimes be more lenient about runaway situations the closer you are to 18. You can attempt to calmly, respectfully, and persistently deny them consent to touch you or take you anywhere, and they may give up on trying to return you home. They also may not, in which case you should comply with what they tell you to do for your safety.

    There can be risk of what is called “harboring a runaway” charges for the people you are staying with. While the risk of such charges are significantly lower given how close you are to 18, they are still a risk. It is typically considered a misdemeanor offense if it is successfully pursued. It might be wise to reach out to your local police to find out more about your girlfriend’s family’s risk.

    If you want to talk more about what is going on, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at 1800runaway.org.

    Take care,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi I am 17 years old I turn 18 on november 25th my parents have been treated me badly yell at me and insult me alot 1 time my mom punched me in the face because I was protecting my face from her hits and she left me bleeding from my mouth what actions can I do and what can happen to my girlfriend family if her parents let me stay since I turn 18 in 2 weeks or so would j be forced to go back home and or what can my parents do to take me back

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  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi,

    Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are so sorry that things are so tough at home, and we hope to be of some help to you in figuring out your next steps.
    It sounds like you have endured some emotional abuse at home and in one instance it got physical. We want you to know that this is never okay, and you deserve to be in a home in which you feel safe and comfortable. You mention reservations about reporting the abuse, but we want you to know this is always an option. We can help you do it. There is also an amazing resource called Child Help, which can be reached at 1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation.

    We are not legal experts, so we cannot answer exactly about your parents’ ability to take your phone away if you are paying for it. In regards to running away, we can say that 18 is the age at which a person can leave home without the consent of parents or guardians. If a person under 18 leaves home without this consent, they may be reported as a runaway youth and found and brought home by police. Police actions can vary from county to county, but it is also important to know that it is not illegal to run away, so you will not be charged in any way. You may consider enlisting your boyfriend’s parents for help in talking to your parents and procuring the consent. Sometimes adults will respond better to other adults.

    We hope that some of this information is useful to you. We are so sorry to hear that things have been hard at home, and we hope that this empowers you to make the best decision for your mental health. We are always available to talk on the phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY or via instant message at 1800runaway.org. We will be here 24/7 to listen, and to help.

    Stay safe and strong out there,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I'm 16 right now and I'll turn 17 in April. I live in Wisconsin. My parents have been pretty emotionally abusive. My boyfriend wants me to move in with him and I'd like to but I'm not 18 yet and neither is he. My parents get angry when I simply ask to go see him and it's only once a week. I've went weeks on end without seeing him and then ask to go to his house and my parents still get mad. My dad has hit me before but it's been quite a while. I want to move out but i don't want to go through the court if it means my parents would lose my other siblings. I have three younger siblings, I'm the oldest. I paid for my phone and pay for the data plan still. My parents keep threatening to take my phone away and I don't think it's right that they would be able to do this. Are they legally able to take my phone away if I pay for it? Am I able to leave home without parental consent? I don't want anyone getting in trouble trying to help me. My parents don't let me go basically anywhere and when they do they get angry about it and we always end up fighting over it. I'm tired of everything and I just want to be able to do what I need to to finish school and not worry about getting yelled at every night or angering my parents.

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  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello,
    Thanks so much for reaching out to us. We are so sorry that things with your dad and stepmom have been so challenging. It sounds like you are hopping to live with your mom, but you have questions about whether you would be able to stay there.

    We are not legal experts, but from what we understand, if you are considered a minor, your parent or legal guardian (in this case, whomever has custody of you), can file a runaway report with your local police department if you leave without consent. Whether you can be brought back to your custodial parent depends on the laws in your state. Usually the best resource to confirm whether or not you can leave home and not be forced to return home is your local police department at their non-emergency number. If you would like to live with your mom, one option would be to talk to her about possibly petitioning for custody again. We can help you identify resources that can provide more information to you and your mom, feel free to reach out to us anytime.

    Whatever you decide, please know that we are here to support you. We cannot tell you what to do, but we will do our best to help you stay as safe as possible as you explore your options. You can reach us 24/7 by phone at 1.800.RUNAWAY (786.2929) or via chat by visiting our website https://www.1800runaway.org/ . We are here to listen, here to help. Stay safe!
    -NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    i’m 15, turning 16 in a week. when i was 10 my dad was given legal custody of me and i was forced to move in with him. I love my dad, but my step mom is emotionally abusive and i just don’t feel comfortable here. i visit my mom once a week, but i have always wanted to live with her. I read somewhere that at 16 you can leave home and cannot legally be forced to come back. I know my dad won’t let me live with my mom and i really don’t want to confront him about my step mom. i’m just much happier and comfortable and loved at my moms. My dad has money and connections though where my mom does not and i’m scared that he will find a way to make me come back. i just want to make sure that if i leave that i won’t have to see them until i’m ready bc they will be so angry

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  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello,


    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We understand that it can take a lot of courage to reach out, and we appreciate you writing to us. It sounds like you were able to confide in your sister to provide you with a place to live that feels safe, and you want to know about any risk your sister could be in for providing you with shelter.


    If you are younger than 18, you are correct that your parent would need to give you consent to live with your sister. However, if you were to continue living with her and not receive consent, your mom would be able to call the police at anytime, and if they were to locate you, you would be required to return home with them. You wouldn’t be charged with anything, but your sister could face legal trouble for “harboring a runaway.” So, the safest way to remain living with your sister would be to get your mom’s consent.


    We would be happy to talk further with you about your situation and provide further resources and support. Our hotline is open 24/7 at 1(800) 786-2929, or you can visit 1800runaway.org to chat live with us online. We are confidential, anonymous, non-direct, and always ready to help.


    We hope this information helped. Please reach out to us anytime if you need any further assistance.


    Stay Safe,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I already “ran away” but my mom knows where I’ve been, I recently just moved in with my sister but still entered in the system as a run away, my mom doesn’t know I’m living with her yet but I looked it up and as long as I get consent from my mom my sister won’t get in any trouble, I needed reassurance that I’m not putting my sister at risk

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod6
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there, Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on. We know it takes a lot of courage to reach out. It sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed by things at home right now. We care a lot about your safety, and we can help you find resources that can help you cope with these feelings. You do not have to face this alone, and there is so much help out there for you. Your mental health and well-being is important. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org is also a great resource to reach out to in addition to our crisis services. Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This may be an isolating and lonely time for you, but you are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. Another great resource for additional support is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can contact them by calling 1-800-950-NAMI or you can text them by sending NAMI to 741741. 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. If you’d like to talk about what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

    Be safe, NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I wanna run away, I've been wanting to for a few years. I'm 16 now and it's just getting to much for me and I'm going into my suicidal thought box again

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    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. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
    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.
    We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by forum to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I’m 14 years old and my mom keeps me locked up . She goes to work 5 days a week and I’m home by myself with no phone bc she can’t trust me with one doesn’t want me having a gf . I’m bisexual and have a gf but my mom doesn’t know nor does she want me talk to her so I have to sneak and talk to her . I don’t leave the house unless it with her . I hate it here I want to get emancipated and start saving up money so when I’m 16 in December of 2021 I can get emancipated. She doesn’t accept me having a bf or gf and I’m a high schooler she try’s to control everything . She puts restrictions on everything . I have put had a phone in 9 months and use a school iPad to do certain things . I just want to turn 16 so I can leave the house , she is so controlling . I want to grow up and experience things but she keep me locked up like I’m in jail . At times I wanna runaway to go see my gf bc I haven’t seen her in a month and probably won’t see her for a long time bc my mom doesn’t want us dating or talking but I can’t lose my gf .

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  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    HI there,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at NRS. It sounds like home has become very overwhelming and you are thinking leaving might be the best option for you. Having so many conflicting bits of information about being able to leave home would definitely be frustrating. While we are not legal experts, we can speak generally about runaway laws and leaving home as a minor.

    Until you turn 18 your parents are legally responsible for you. If you leave home without permission as a minor, they can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, so you would not be arrested or charged with a crime. It is, however, a status offense. This basically means your parents can ask police to return you home if they know where you are staying. There is not a universal way that all police respond to runaway reports and it can vary based on state and even county. We suggest that any young person wanting to know more about runaway protocols in their area, call the non-emergency line for the local police department to ask (this can be done anonymously). Police in the area would know the most specific information about how they handle runaway reports for someone your age.

    You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your parent's permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.

    We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

    Stay strong and stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I am 16, I live in North Dakota. Anyway I really don't want to live with my family anymore my dad is bipolar and he yells constantly over everything and he does anything he can to feel like he's in control. i'm so depressed and I hate my family so much. I snuck out one night and didn't come home in the morning (basically ran away) and the cops didn't bring me home but I saw my picture all over Facebook that my parents had posted and they filed a runaway report. since I was only a few doors down I simply went home(I wish I hadn't) but then the cop came and told me I can't do that and so on and he told me I could go to jail for it and said if it happens again ill be taken into custody, and he said that I might be being out on probation. Im really annoyed because I've been trying to do all kinda of research to see what's legal and its so annoying because all these sites say different things, basically my family is insane and all of my friends and even their parents tell me i'm being emotionally abused and I just want to leave. Like I said i'm 16. And my friends parents want me to live with them because they know what has been going on, I have a job, I would still being going to school and I would be taken care of and fed and all of that. lots of sites said I can just leave and I won't be made to go home(which brings me hope) but now i'm confused if that is true why the cops would tell me all of that when I came home? Can you please respond and help with some options I could go about taking to leave my family. I don't want to wait till i'm 18, and I need to get out. I hear of kids moving out at 14 and 15 and i'm so confused how they do that without being made to go home. I know i'm rambling and im sorry but I just want to know for a fact that if I just left I wouldn't be made to go back home

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