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

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  • Hey my name is Andrew and I feel unloved where I live it's like I can't do anything the way my parents want it and there constantly blaming everything on me theres our days where we don't argue but it's like 4 times a week we argue and I'm trying to figure out how to get myself out of this I'm 15 now but on February 17 I'll be 16 is there anyway I can leave without getting into trouble I live in Nevada but I'm trying to go back to California where i know everyone and know my place around I'm tired of being treated poorly by my parents.....do you know anyway I can leave my family without getting arrested or brought back to my parents

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      Thank you for reaching out to NRS – it takes a lot of courage to share your story. We’re so sorry to hear that you don’t feel loved. You deserve to feel safe, comfortable, and loved in your own home.

      If you think you might be experiencing emotional/verbal abuse, Child Help (www.childhelp.org) might be helpful to you. They have lots of information about child abuse and the child abuse reporting process. You can also call us at 1 (800) RUN-AWAY if you want to learn more about reporting, want help in filing a report, or just want to talk. We’re 24/7 and confidential. We’re here to listen, and we’re here to help. You’re not alone in this.

      You know your situation better than anyone else, so if you believe that running away is your best option, we will do our best to support you and keep you safe. Running away is a status offense, not a legal one, which means that it’s something you can’t do because of your age. In other words, running away in and of itself cannot get you in legal trouble. If you run away, if your parents file a runaway report, and if the police find you, they will attempt to take you home. If that happens and you tell them that you don’t feel safe at home, they’ll call Nevada Child Protective Services and a social worker will conduct a full investigation. Also it is worth mentioning that if you run away, your parents file a runaway report, and the police find you living in someone else’s home, your parents have the right to press harboring charges against them. Although it isn’t guaranteed that whoever helps you will face these charges, it is a possibility.
      Another option is what’s called an Alternative Living Arrangement. If your parents give their written permission, you can live with someone else (the family in California, for example) until you turn 18.

      Again, we are so sorry that you’ve had to go through all of this – but you’re not alone. Please don’t hesitate to call at 1 (800) RUN-AWAY or chat with us at www.1800runaway.org.

      Good luck and stay safe.
      NRS

  • I wonder this question alot. My parents are super controlling over me. Im 16 and pregnant. I have a great place to stay (with my boyfriend) my parents put alot of stress onto me. We live in a 3 bedroom trailer with 7 people. There's hardly food here. If i say something to cps or anything I'll be taken. I don't wanna be taken. I wanna be placed with my boyfriend and his family. They told me if i wanted to move in that I could and I would have everything I need. My parents are set I will quit school because of him but he's actually the only one pushing me to do great. I started making As and Bs when we got together and i still am. But my parents don't wanna believe that. When they argue I cry because I can't get away from it. I need the best leagal option to get out! And once I'm out I KNOW things will be better! Please help!

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. Even in the best of family situations, being pregnant and having parents who won’t listen and over control you is very stressful. You also mentioned that your baby will be added to an already crowded living situation where food supply might be unstable. With your pregnancy, you now have the added consideration of what living situation will be best for your unborn child. In your favor, it sounds like your boyfriend and his family are being very supportive and might help alleviate some of your stress.

      As far as legal options, your parents have the legal responsibility to define where you live until your 18th birthday. You mentioned that you do not want to get Child Protective Services involved because you will not be able to choose to you live with your boyfriend’s family. There may be a legal option called “emancipation” in your location that will allow you the right define where you want to live. Emancipation usually requires the youth to prove they are self-sufficient including having long term employment. If you do have employment, it might be a worthwhile exercise to consider the additional support you may need once your baby arrives. Managing a job and taking care of your newborn will obviously be a factor if you decide to go forward with this option. Getting emancipated involves going to court which you have to prove your financial independence. It can be both time consuming and can be expensive and your parents would have to be included in the court proceedings. Most localities offer free legal aid services either through non-profit or governmental agencies that explain the legal processes that is followed in your area. If you need help finding local legal aid options, you are welcome to contact us on our 24-hour support line – 1-800-Runaway (1-800-786-2929).

      Building on your wish to spend more time with your boyfriend’s family, another option is to try to improve communication between your parents and your boyfriend’s parents. This is something you can discuss with your boyfriend as what would help build trust between all the members of your future baby’s extended family. Another option would be to seek the support of a family counselor to help this communication improve. You can access to this sort of support, as well as gain possible prenatal health support by contacting Planned Parenthood – 1-800-230-7526.

      Thank you for sharing your situation with all the forum participants. Hopefully, others will be able to use this information to their benefit as well. Your focus on reducing your stress in your living situation for you and your baby is an important priority. We appreciate you turning to the National Runaway Safeline in considering options to help reduce your stress.

      Be safe,
      NRS

  • I'm 16 and live with my dad in Wisconsin. I want to switch and live with my mom. But my dad has full custody of me. My dad and I have been getting into some really big blow out these last couple of months. I've run away twice and was forced to come back home even though I'm afraid of what my dad may do to me. The cops have done nothing to help me they called a social worker who just told me to go home and get counseling. I've gotten cps called on my dad for hitting me in the mouth which resulted in me slamming my head into a metal rod leaving a mark. The cops documented the events and the mark. My sister has called cps multiple times on my father but nothing has happened. I'm trying everything I can do to get out. I've thought about running away again but I'll be forced to come back to my dad's. How can I get out of my household fast?

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your dad'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 dad. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern.

      You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY.

      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.

      Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

      Be safe,

      NRS

  • Hi so my parent are insanely Christian and they kicked me off of all my policies because they found out I had kissed a guy. I am 19 almost 20 and I'm looking at moving out but I want to take me 16 year old sister with me because she is a teenager doing teenager things and if my parents found out I dont know what they would do. If I did try to take her could my parents force her to stay with them and could we get in trouble for living on our own?

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      We're sorry you are faced with this right now, and it's totally understandable you want to protect your sister. Unfortunately, if she left home without their permission, they could file a runaway report with the police and have them pick her up and bring her home. They could also charge you with harboring a runaway. The best option would be to get their permission for her to stay with you. You can always reach out to us directly, through phone or chat, to discuss the situation in more detail.

      Best of luck,
      NRS

  • Hi I am 16 and I was living with a abusive father but now at my grandparents house I was wondering if I would legally be able to live with my uncle with or without my grandparents consent?

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your guardian'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 mom. 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.

      Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

      Be safe,

      NRS

  • Hello, I live in Kansas and I'm 15. my dad is emotionally and verbally abusive and I don't feel loved and safe in my own home and we both are very confrontational so I do not think I should be at home and I want to move in with my mom but she is a former addict and a former convicted felon. I just want to know my options

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting NRS and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you with figuring out your next steps in this difficult situation. Asking for help was really responsible and smart of you. We are sorry to hear things are so unstable at home. You deserve to live somewhere that makes you feel safe and supported.

      We are not legal experts and ways to transfer custody can vary depending on the specifics of your situation. There is an organization called Child Help which advocates for young people in similar situations and can walk you through your options. You can contact them at 1-800-422-4453 or at childhelp.org.

      We truly want to be a support for you and a listening ear as you navigate this challenging time. You can reach back out anytime by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat at www.1800runaway.org.

      We wish you the best,
      NRS

  • Hi, I'm 16. I live in Utah. My mom likes to manipulate me and she's really narcissistic. And self-centered. She was calling me a s*** and telling me to get a life. I also might have the chance of being pregnant. I want out of the house. I don't want anyone to get in trouble. For me not wanting to be here. I don't know what else to do if I move out without my parents consent. What would be the consequences?
    Last edited by ccsmod7; 02-10-2020, 02:38 PM. Reason: identifying info

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      We are glad you reached out, we understand how tough it can be to seek help and you are extremely brave in doing so. It sounds like you are going through a lot and your mom has not been treating you fairly by manipulating you and being self-centered to the point where she calls you names. You do not deserve to be treated that way.

      If you think you might have the chance of being pregnant contacting Planned Parenthood may be helpful. They can help with providing different referrals to you, answering any questions you may have about pregnancies and letting you know what options you have. Their number is 1-800-230-7526 and you can go on their website at www.plannedparenthood.org.

      If you were to move without your parents consent, because you are still a minor, your parents do have a right to file a runaway report with the police. We are not legal experts but what that would look like would be that the police around the state will be notified and they may or may not actively search for you. If they do find you there is the possibility they would detain you until your parent/s pick you up or they would take you straight home. Say they find you at a friends or family members that your parent/s did not approve of, there is the risk of them being charged with a misdemeanor for harboring a runaway or being fined.

      If you ever feel like you are unsafe for whatever reason you can always contact the National Safe Place. They are an organization that will provide information on where the nearest safe place is for you. You can text the word SAFE and your location (address, city and state) to the number 44357 and they will reply back. You can always give us a call at any time too and we can provide referrals to different shelters and programs. We cannot guarantee that you will get a spot but persistence is key and people drop out of programs and the availability will open up.

      If you want to talk more in depth about what is going on and find out what resources are available to you, do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or start a chat with us at www.1800runaway.org. We are 24/7 and completely confidential. We are here for you and here to help.

      Best of Luck,
      NRS

  • can i leave without my parent consent im 16 in georgia

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello, thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time.

      Although we are not legal experts, technically it’s not against law for you to leave home without your parent’s consent before the age of 18. However, anyone you would be staying with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’. It might be a good idea to ask them if they are willing to take this risk for you.

      We are here for you 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY(A786-2929) to help you go over options.

      Best of luck and we hope to hear from you soon.

      -NRS

  • I'm not sure how this works, but I thought I could give this a try. I'm 17 and from Utah. I'm currently trying to leave my mom's house and mobe in with my aunt. All my mom and I do is fight. I have a long rexr message from her stating that if I left she wouldnt care, and I was wondering, if I ledt to my aunt's and my mom called me in as a runaway, if I could use the text in my defense. I was also wondering if because I'm with family, the police couldn't do anything, right?

    Thank you for helping me in any way that you can! I really appreciate it.

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your mom'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 mom. 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 are not legal experts so we would not be able to say how the text messages would effect the police decision if they found you.

      Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

      Be safe,

      NRS

  • Can I leave home seen that only 2 months be for I trun 16 can I leave now if I cant hand my mom house amd my dad's can I leave at 15 seen I'm all most 16 in 2 months

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      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 email 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

      Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • hello, i am 15 years old and i turn 16 in seven months. i really hate living with my parents as i feel like i am living in a jail cell with no rights over my own decisions. i am a full time student and have very few friends because my parents only let me talk to certain people. i would like to move out when i am a few months into my 16th year. i have many places i could stay and i understand that the people i may live with can get in trouble for harboring a runaway. however i am very desperate as i feel like i lack social skills and often feel very alone. i would like to know if there is a way that i could leave and not get my roommates in trouble. and also if it is legal to move out of my house at 16. i live in idaho.

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you want information about the consequences of running away if you are under 18. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth. You can also call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) if you need to talk.

  • Can you leave your house for 48 hours with out your parents knowing in NY at the age of 16

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like you are going through a lot.
      We are not legal experts but if you were to leave home without permission your legal guardian coukld file a runaway report even if it’s only for 48 hours. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home.
      We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support. Best of luck!
      NRS

  • I'm t he god-father of the teen who needs to run away and wants to as well . they are not providing him TLC he is act a 5th grade level 16 of age in the 10th grade we want to know can he leave the house by those circumstances ?

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like your god son may be neglected which you or him can make a report. You can make a report by calling Child Help at: 1800-422-4453. If your god son is in immediate danger you or him can always call the local police department.
      We are not legal experts but if your god son was to leave home without his legal guardian’s permission they do have the right to file a runaway report. If the police do find him they most likely would bring him home. Because you mentioned neglect the police would most likely do an investigation.
      We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options, please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support. Best of luck!
      NRS

  • Im 15 and i live in georgia with only my mom. She yells at me all of the time and constantly tells me how she doesn’t care about me or love me. I have a list of mental illness because of her and i don’t sneak out or party like most troubled teens. I want to move out and get a job as soon as I can, but I can’t drive without a parent in the car and I’m not old enough to get a good paying job yet. I’m waiting until I’m 16 to finally get out of this house, but i am not sure if my mom will consent or not. She tends to make my life 10x worse, so could I get some advice on what I should do please.

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      Thanks for taking the time to write us here at NRS. It can certainly be stressful at home when the adults in the household are not supportive. It is not okay that your mom talks down to you like that. You deserve to be treated in a way that makes you feel supported and cared for. Your mental health is important and it can exhausting to navigate that on your own. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you with figuring out your next steps in this difficult situation. Asking for help was really responsible and smart of you. Leaving home can definitely be easier when you are more independent and able to work for your own money.

      Generally speaking, your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18, so they can decide where you live. If you do choose to leave without permission, your mom can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that if your mom know where you are staying then she can have the police return you home.

      The easiest way to leave home as a minor is with your parents’ permission. In this case, your mom would be allowing you to live somewhere else where you are safe and being cared for. A helpful step is to start reaching out to friends and family members you might be able to stay with. Sometimes having an adult on your side to advocate for you can make communicating your needs more effective. Perhaps an adult family member, a friend's parent or a counselor at school can talk to your mom with you about your experience at home and the possibility of you leaving.

      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.

  • Hi, I'm a 16 year old living in Georgia. I have a good home life other than the fact that I feel like I'm unable to do anything. My parents don't give me any freedom, and they won't let me go out with my boyfriend. It has just been wearing on me emotionally, and I can't continue to feel trapped until I turn 18. I don't plan to move out, but I had the idea of just respectfully telling my parents that I'm going out, even if they disapprove. I know that they will take all of my things away such as my phone, but I can deal with that. I just want to know all of the facts on the legal side of things before I act on anything because once I do this there is no going back. So my question is, if I told my parents that I'm going out and I leave for a couple hours then return, what can they do? Could they call the police? Could they physically hold me in my house? Could they lock me in my room? I'm just so scared to stand up for myself but I feel that if I do, after the initial stress of it all, that I will be much happier.

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you want to know the consequences if you leave home without permission.18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.
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