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

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  • im 15 years old living in california and am not allowed at my house and am being forced to live with a family friend is this legal? ive been kicked out of my house for 3 months now and i just want to go home.

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are in a tough situation right now. We are not legal experts, so we can't advise you on parental/custody issues. Although since you are a minor your parents could transfer temporary custody to someone or give permission for you to stay with someone. If you feel like you are in an unsafe environment you can always contact Child Protective Services or the police to report it. We are not experts on the issue, but generally once it's been reported, social services will either decide whether or not to take the case and further investigate. If they do take the case, they will send out someone from child protective services to do an investigation (interviewing people in the household) and from there they will decide the level of danger within the household. It generally ranges from no danger (the youth stays in the home, some services are given, and the case is closed), moderate danger (they will provide family services with possible temporary displacement) and high danger (they will remove the youth from the home and offer certain services).

      If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering.

      Please be safe and reach out soon by phone or chat so that we may help.
      Take care,

  • I’m 16 and I live in South Carolina. I was just removed from a home and put into another home (with another family member) who is emotionally abusive and has an emotionally abusive boyfriend. What can I do?

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, and sharing a little bit of your story with us.
      We are sorry that you were put in a home with a family member and their boyfriend who are emotionally abusive towards you. You do not deserve to be abused in any type of way. You do have the right to report that abuse and there are a few ways to go about doing that. If you have a case worker or social worker you can tell them and they may be able to investigate the situation. You can also call Child Help at: 1800-422-4453. You can also call or chat with us and we would be able to help you with making an abuse report. You are not alone in this, there are people who would be willing to help you.
      As far as running away we are not legal experts but we do have some information for you, if you were to leave home without permission your legal guardian could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you it is a possibility that you could be brought 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 to provide support. We wish you the best of luck!
      NRS

  • Hi I’m 16 I live in Florida and I want to run away. I have already been to a new tal facility and had to come back. I’m not comfortable being in this house and I want to run away. I can take care of myself and my parents won’t let me get my license because it would make the price in the car sky rocket. I should have got it in January and it’s May. I have someone I can live with but I don’t want them to get charges on them. I don’t want to be here anymore and I want to be on my own and take care of myself already. I hate the constant questions especially when I’m constantly asked if I’m cutting because it makes me upset. I’m scared that me and my mom are going to argue so much that someone will go off in the wrong direction with things. I’m very emotional right now because my dog that I have had since I was 2 just died April 7th, 2020 and I am scared I’m going to pop off at my mom and I don’t want to do that I just want to leave and prove to her I can take care of myself. Please give me advice and help me out. Please and thank u

    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 right now and we want you to know that you are not alone.
      Not being able to get your license can be so frustrating especially for someone who wants to be independent. We are not legal experts but we do have some information on the laws. If you were to leave home without permission your legal guardian could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you home. We know you mentioned getting into a lot of arguments, one option to consider is to try and talk with a therapist together. We also offer conference calling where if you call us we can call out to your legal guardian and help you have a conversation.
      We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any more questions or would like to explore more options please call us. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support.
      NRS

  • I don’t know how this works..
    but I am 16, about to be 17.. in October.
    I wanna live with my Girlfriend.. and her Mom..
    her mom was kind enough to take me under her wing.. but the cache is.. I live with my Uncle.. and I know how he is.. and that he’ll be stubborn enough to say no.. and won’t give me my legal documents.. so therefore I am gonna order my documents Online.. so then I can go to Chicago where she lives.. and move there.. the only reason I wanna get my documents is so that I can attend school.. and so that I can continue learning.
    I would love to know more about the Law, but also my reason for running away.. is because I don’t feel comfortable anymore being in the household..
    Recently in January I had a big fight with my Uncle.. and we fight here and there but he made me feel isolated.. where he said I can’t leave and that I am stuck until I am 18.. then another reasoning of this.. is because I don’t have the support I need. Mentally.. I would feel unwanted for how poor my Auntie speaks of me.. and how they think I am crazy because of my decisions.. and what I think of.. they use it against me.. I had a thought childhood growing up.. I had to mature myself from the age of 8.. to up now.. I have learned and learned and I will continue learning.. I have ran away before multiple times.. but this time it’s for a reason.. a reason.. so that I am happy in moving forward life.. I understand coming up isn’t easy.. but you can’t rush greatness.. I wanna be mentally supported, and I don’t wanna feel like an outcast.. I know my past wasn’t right growing up with them.. as I was introduce into smoking weed, drinking, and doing such acts.. to the point where my Auntie calls me a criminal and a theif.. and feeling unsafe because I influence the kids.. in a bad manner.. yes I understand I have made mistakes but what I am trying to show them is that I can strive for better.. reasons now.. I can grow and mature.
    Yeah they provide food, water, shelter, entertainment, etc.. but that’s not what I wanna be around.. I wanna strive for my own possessions.. strive for my future and start now.. I know being an adult isn’t easy.. When I first got my job, and started working from there.. I made myself independent.. and I realize I can provide for myself, and prosper from my own. He thinks I can’t do it, and that I am crazy.. and that I can’t manage it.. but I’am gonna do it on my regardless of what it takes.. I am going to do so.. and move to Chicago.. with my girlfriend wether he likes it or not.. I feel like that’s a start.. not because I wanna be with her.. I have proven myself that I love her enough to do so.. now I wanna strive for our future and build a home. So I would like to know, if I can enroll myself into a school there, know if I will be fine for the next year.. so that I can live happily and peacefully without a worry about being involved with the law.. and having contact with him.. if I have to take this to court I will to get myself emancipated.. but it’s hard right now for how this covid-19 is going around.
    So finding jobs are difficult, and striving for what I want is hard.. but it won’t stop me from moving in.. and starting to fight for what I want..

    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.
      The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' 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 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

  • Hi I'm 15 and I am living with an emotionally and physically abusive brother I want to move out when i turn 16 and live with a friend is that possible

    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 difficult time, and we want you to know that you are not alone.
      You do not deserve to be abused in any type of way, and we are sorry that you are dealing with that. One option to consider is to talk with your parents, they should be able to stop it and protect you from being abused. You also have the right to make a report by calling Child Help at:1800-422-4453. If you are ever in immediate danger, please call 911.
      We are not legal experts but we do have some information. If you were to leave home without permission your legal guardian can file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home. If there is abuse at home, they would usually do an investigation.
      We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any more questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support. Best of luck!
      NRS

  • Hi I'm 16 I live in Minnesota and I was wondering if I can leave my house and live with my aunt and uncle but my parents won't let me leave. Can they stop me? Can they bring me back?

    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 trying to make a big decision and we are glad you reached out to us for help.
      We are not legal experts but we do have some information on the laws. If you were to leave home without permission your legal guardian could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home.
      We hope 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 to provide support. Best of luck!
      NRS

  • Hello, I'm currently 16 and I'm looking to move out of my house. I have a job, a car, and means to be financially independent. Yet I'm too scared to ask my parents to leave as they are already very mentally abusive and in the past they were physically abusive and too an extent, they neglected me and my siblings, and I'm afraid of what would happen to me if I were to ask. I can't stay with a relative, as they are not on any good terms with any of my relatives, I have already asked and they replied with a no. I don't know where to go, or what to do next. being a runaway is something I have thought about but I know my parents would call the police and find me; my sister ran away at 17, to her boyfriends (now her husband) she is currently 21 and living in a different state. I would like to move in with her, yet my parents won't agree. I have to communicate with my relatives secretly because my parents don't want me to talk to them in any way shape or form, but my relatives are willing to give me a place to stay with them, yet I don't have any permission from my parents to do so. I am just wondering what my next move should be. emancipation seems to be a bit much for the situation but I am willing to do it... but, in order to be emancipated in my state of Alaska, I must already be living out of the house... but how am I to do that when I can't leave because my parents won't let me. I am just in a pickle and would like guidance towards my next step.
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 05-20-2020, 07:00 AM.

    Comment


    • ccsmod4
      ccsmod4 commented
      Editing a comment
      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. It sounds like you would like to somehow leave your parent’s home but not sure how to do this without their permission. We understand how difficult a situation you feel this is and would be glad to speak with you about strategies or options that might help you to cope better with your situation.

      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 and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.

      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

      Take care,
      NRS

  • I'm 16 years old living in California. My parents and I have a rocky relationship and I think I might be pregnant. Can I move out without their consent?

    Comment


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,
      Thank you for reaching out to us; we are glad that you did. It sounds like things have been very difficult and stressful for you for a long time and feeling that you might be pregnant adds to that and it is understandable to want to leave. Until you are 18 you will need consent to ensure that you wouldn’t be returned home.

      With everything that you have going on, we hope that you might reach out to our live services so that we can listen and help you identify the options that you may have.

      The best way for us to help you is by talking with you through our confidential services, and we are here for you 24/7 either by calling 1-800-786-2929 or via live chat through www.1800runaway.org
      We are confidential and are here 24/7 to listen and help.
      Sincerely,
      NRS

  • Hello my name is natalie I'm from alabama and I'm going to be 16 but I wanna move out next year when I'm 17 but I'm scared to ask my parents and my aunt already said I can move in with her at 17 cause emy brother is 18 and gets what ever he wants and my mom won't kick him out cause he is her baby and I get stressed out here and I don't like my family like yes I love them but like my mom is always working and my parents are separated but they don't live together cause of an issue I wanna move out but I don't know if I will get in trouble for it like I don't want to ask to leave I just wanna say hey I'm moving next year but I don't want to be Judged or shamed cause it's not what they want I am more mature than my 18 year old brother and they get onto me more than him over the smallest things and I feel as tho I don't want to live by my self imma move with my aunt but if I do will I be arrested for leaving without permission and sorry for my speeling and no punctuation I'm trying to get thins done but thank you so much and hope u respond soon.

    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 doing through a difficult situation, and we are here to help.
      Leaving home can be a really big decision and it is great that you would have somewhere safe to stay. One option to consider would be to talk with your mother about your thoughts about moving out and see if you both can come up with an agreement. I may help to have your aunt present when you talk to her that way you have someone who can support you and help mediate the conversation.
      We are not legal experts but we do have some information that may help you in making a decision. If you were to leave home without permission your legal guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home. Because running away is not illegal you probably would not be arrested.
      We hope that this information may help with your situation. If you have any more questions or would like to explore more options, please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support. We wish you the best of luck in your situation.
      NRS

  • Hi,I'm Dj I want to move out when I'm 15 so I can go live with me girlfriend but can I run away and not get in trouble?. I have a great life but as the oldest of my family I would like to move so I can just relax and enjoy my life I know I will have work to do overtime but I want to spend most my life with my girlfriend why I want to move out is because I don't have a great relationship with my mom or dad I right with them almost everyday and I'm getting tired of it.I think I'm being stupid but I think it would be better than fighting with my family.

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 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

  • I really want to move out of my moms house, I'm 16 and almost 17 and she invalidates my feelings all of the time and she makes me feel horrible just for being honest. I'm tired of feeling like I'm not important. I just want to be on my own. I have a job and she wont let me even stay home alone to make it to work (she goes to California a lot). i really need help, I'm so close to just leaving.

    Comment


    • ccsmod4
      ccsmod4 commented
      Editing a comment
      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. We would like to be of assistance to you if we can. It is times like these that would be nice to have a listening ear. It is also important that you remember to exercise self- care. You showed some by reaching out to NRS. Good for you. It sounds unfair that your mom does not listen or validate your feelings. You do not deserve to be treated this way by her. It’s not your fault that she chooses to behave in this manner. Your feelings are important and they matter.
      You deserve to be heard.

      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 so that we might learn a little more about your situation and how we might assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.

      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

      We hope to hear from you soon.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • So, for some reason it wouldnt post but anyways...i really want to move out of my parents home. I’m sick of my parents telling all my dumb secret mistakes and yell at for no reason like “why are you wearing a sweatshirt?!” Then roll their eyes at me. I’m tired of feeling like everything is my fault and that i feel like I dont belong here. Also, that i feel very self conscious about myself..and I’m tired of being ignored and told to “shut up” when i have something important to say. Overall I’m tired of getting treated like trash. Can i move out at age 16? I live in New York by the way.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,
      Thanks for reaching out to NRS it seems like you are going through a lot at home and feel unsupported by your family. It is understandable to feel tired of being treated like that and want the situation to improve. Home should be a supportive place where you can be yourself and get help overcoming challenges instead of a place you feel uncomfortable in.
      If you were to leave home without permission at 16 your parents could file a runaway report. This is a status offence, so you wouldn’t be arrested by police, instead they would bring you back home to your parents.
      If you wanted to leave permanently that would either require CPS/DCFS to be involved and remove you from the home for abuse, or to become emancipated. Emancipation would essentially be you proving to the courts that you can fend for yourself as an adult, so usually has specific requirements that vary from state to state. Usually they require at least that you can be financially responsible for yourself.
      If you have more questions or just need someone to talk with you can always reach out 24/7 hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at 1800runaway.org and click “chat”.

  • Hello. I don’t know where to to start but I wanna love out. In about two days I’m gonna be 16. I’m being emotionally abused by my mother and wanna live with my boyfriends family. But I am scared if they get charged for me staying there. And I am scared if I will get sent with my dad. I am scared of what will my mom do to me. She’s been calling me names, have her favorites, does not let me out the house to socialize with anyone. My sibling get away with anything and i get the blame. I do not know what to do. I wanna leave at 16. I’ve read many articles about leaving. And I’m just wondering if the people I’ll be staying at will be charged. I don’t know what my mother will do to me and she’s bipolar. She has my life figured out. She does not support everything I do and gets mad for little things that aren’t noticeable. I am going back into depression and I don’t wanna say I’m thinking of suicide. I wanna leave this negative house and live in a positive place. What should I do.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like things are very stressful with your mother’s abusive behavior towards you. You deserve to live in an environment where you are treated with respect and we are sorry you’re going through this.

      Your safety and well-being is important and you don’t deserved to be mistreated. 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.

      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 mother may file a runaway runaway report 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

  • Hi i’m almost 16 and want to live on my own as soon as possible i’ve talked to my parents are they will give me the consent to live outside of their current home, if i find a place for myself would they have to be the ones to pay for it and i just pay them, or would i have the ability to pay for it myself?

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. While we are not legal experts we do have a great deal of experience working with youths in crisis. It is our understanding that, as you are a minor, you do not have the right to make contracts or own real estate. In all likelihood you would have to pay them and their names would be on the lease agreement or any contract that would be signed for the property.

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

      Take care,
      NRS

  • Hi my parents want to keep me home due to COVID in TN since I have been home they have been on me making evrything perfect in the house I have a job I’m 16. Also my mom will yell at me just to do simple stuff when she just has to tell me nicely also I haven’t been over to a friends house since COVID has happend with the exception of my gf who I will sometimes have to stay away for weeks at a time. I want to go move in with my gfs parents but I don’t want them to be charged. Also my dad is under control of my mom she has all the power and dangles it over him she could simply kick him out if wanted to also I’m supposed to be going into the army when I’m 17 by my choice and my mom will tell me I will get torchered and shot I really hate it here what should I do I’m really close to running away.
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 07-17-2020, 10:04 PM. Reason: Removed Identifying Information

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there thanks for reaching out to NRS,
      It seems like you are feeling tired of being stuck inside due to COVID and frustrated with how your mom is treating you through this tough time. It’s understandable to feel upset that you don’t get to have contact with your friends or GF through all this. These are issues that everyone in the USA is going through right now. Humans deserve social contact with each other and it is hard to go through suddenly not getting to see your friends in school every day. You also don’t deserve to be yelled at by your mom when calmly asking can get the same result, or berated for your plan to go into the Army.
      As for what you do from here only you can decide that. Running away has risks that include Harboring a Runaway charge for those you stay with, a runaway report out on you and the police forcing you back home, or adversity on the streets. Running away isn’t necessarily illegal as it is a status offence so for your personal legal consequences police would just look to bring you back home.
      Some other options mostly revolve around finding ways to cope with the situation in another way, or finding other support to help you through this. These coping strategies could range from finding other outlets for your negative feelings, or attempting a conversation with your mom about the situation and how she or you could come together to work on how she approaches your chores, to finding a family or personal counselor to talk to and get through these difficult feelings. There might be a compromise in there for being able to see your friends as well if they come by your front yard or something like that so you can at least have some kind of contact with them. In the meantime it may be worth exploring alternative meet up options through video chats to scratch the social itch a bit and have support for how your parents are frustrating for you.
      If you did choose to runaway we are more than happy to see if there is a shelter in your area. We are also here to listen and explore coping mechanisms that you might find useful as we all get through this difficult new reality that is COVID. You can reach our hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY or our online chat at 1800runaway.org.
      Good Luck,
      NRS.
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