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

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  • 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.
    Generally, the above laws stay true even if those you runaway to are other family or former guardians. Your dad might be able to challenge her full custody or file for emergency custody while a custody battle takes place. It is also possible that if court proceedings have started police wouldn’t take any action until after the court has made a decision.
    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi im 16 years old and I'm just really fed up with living with my mom and step dad and I just wanted to know if its legal for me to live with my dad without consent but when my mom and dad got divorced she got custody of me and all I'm really trying to figure out is if I leave to live with my dad will my mom be able to take me out of his house and take me home or even call the cops or something to get me back?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi,
    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are so sorry to hear that things at home with Mom have been so difficult, and we commend you for reaching out for help. We hope that we can meet your needs!

    It sounds like your Mom has cut you off from many of the things that keep you stable and happy, and has tried but failed to do this even with your boyfriend. This must be really hard and frustrating. Sometimes in an effort to protect their youth, parents deny them the very freedom they need to grow and learn. It sounds like this may be happening with you. When things get really bad at home, it can help to consider your inner strengths, which cannot be taken away. Taking good care of yourself by writing, reading, drawing, listening to music or going on walks can be powerful ways to stay grounded in these really tough moments.

    You also wrote about running away. This takes a lot of bravery, and it sounds like you have put some good, mature thought into it. It always helps to think about where you will go, how you will get there, and what you will do once there. It sounds like you have solid options for where to go. You might also consider that sometimes a parent of a runaway will call the police. While running away is never illegal, it is a status offense, meaning basically that you just are not supposed to do it. If you are reported as a runaway to the police, they will simply make a good effort to try to find you and, if they do, they will bring you back home. It may be worth your time to think about whether or not Mom will call the police.

    You might also consider emancipation. This is a really long and involved process, but for some youth it is worth it. If you ever want to talk more about this, we encourage you to reach out to us by phone or instant message (1800-RUNAWAY or 1800runaway.org).

    You have been quite mature in reaching out today. We wish you the best of luck. It is not easy, but you are taking the journey step by step, and clearly have the will to make things better. This is important. Stay safe and strong out there.

    Sincerely,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I’m currently 16 and living with my mom in Kansas. Me and my mom have had many falling outs and overall I’d say she’s a very strict parent. She took away my phone, car, made me quit my job, and she even took the door to my room off it’s hinges. She tried to press charges on my 18 year old boyfriend which is something she can’t do considering the legal age of consent in Kansas is 16. I have many people I could go stay with and still finish out high school at the same place I just don’t want to stay in this toxic household. My mom won’t let me get in contact with anybody and has traumatized me at this point. My dad is out of the picture and I wouldn’t want to go an hour away to live with him and he also doesn’t have custody over me. I just want to know if there’s anything I could do to get out.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. You mentioned that you left to live with your aunt because you tried to take your own life. 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. If you are thinking about hurting yourself, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline could be a good resource for you. You can check them out at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/, or you can call 1-800-273-8255 for help and support any time.

    It seems like you are in a sticky situation right now because you live with your aunt but it seems like your mom is still your guardian. It could be a good idea to talk to your aunt about her becoming your legal guardian (which means she would have final say over what's going on). Sometimes custody transfers will need to go through the family court system and it may be beneficial to speak with a legal advocate. If you need help locating a legal aid group near you you can check out https://www.lawhelp.org/find-help/.

    If you’d like to go over 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.

    Stay safe,
    NRS

    We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hello, so my mom has been mentally abusing me for the past 3-4 months. The first month it happened I moved out because I tried killing myself becuase it got really bad. I live with my aunt now but she is trying to control my aunt and telling her I cant go anywhere or see anyone. Can she make those desicsios if I moved out? do I have to listen to her even if I dont live in her household anymore?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod0
    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 at home with your mom. 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 (like your grandma), 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 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 would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
    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
    Hi I am currently 15 going on to 16 in about 3 weeks.. I want to move out of my mothers house due to the conditions I’m living in. I am planning on going to my grandmas house a week after my birthday. Would the cops be able to make me go back to my moms? Or would they just leave me at my relatives house ..

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    replied
    Hello –

    Thank you for contacting us here at the National Runaway Safeline. We understand that it takes great courage to reach out. We are sorry to hear about your situation, no one deserves to be treated that way, especially by someone who is supposed to be a support system for you.

    It is important to know that you have options and resources to help advocate for yourself. A great resource for you could be the National Child Abuse Hotline. You can reach them at 1-800-422-4453. You can call them anonymously to learn about the abuse reporting process, or directly report abuse to this line. They are a good resource for talking through your options if there is verbal/physical abuse going on at home.

    Another option is looking into Transitional Living Program’s near you. These programs provide long-term residential services and help you develop life skills to succeed independently. To learn more about this option give us a call 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    The most important thing in this situation is making sure you are in a safe and supportive environment. We hope the information provided helps. Remember we are available 24/7 and can be toll-free reached at the number listed above. We are confidential, anonymous, and non-direct. We can also be reached via live chat anytime.

    Best Wishes

    ~NRS

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I'm 15, 16 in November. My Mom abuses drugs and alcohol and repeatedly invalidates my feelings, acuses me of false things, makes me do things just so she can feel like she has some sort of control over me (i.e. making me quit my job, make me come home from a friends house early, do certain chores that usually aren't mine or done at that time), has threatened to call the police on me multiple times for small things, has hit me because I didn't do something on time or didn't understand something, has threatened suicide once and threatened to divorce my dad just to get a hold over me in an arguement, frequently touches me in inapropriate ways even after being asked to stop and constantly calls me defending myself in an arguement, having attitude towards her or invalidates my side by calling me a liar. Whenever I try to tell her about any mental illness bothering me at the time, she'll put her's over mine and belittle it, she constantly curses at me or calls me names. She victimizes herself to our relatives before I can get my story out to any of them and turns them against me. My dad defends all of her actions even though I've come crying to him about my frustrations with her before. What can I do to get out? I hate being here.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod4
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there Chase,
    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS).

    We appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on.

    We see that you are in Canada and we are only familiar with the runaway laws in the U.S. which say someone under 18 that leaves home, the parent/guardian may file them as a runaway and they may be returned home. Also, those that a reported runaway stays with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally.
    We are not legal experts so for more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the non-emergency number for your local police. You might also look for a legal aid center in the area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject.

    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).

    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I’m chase that’s my chosen name at least..I am 15 years old and I turn 16 in October. I live in Ontario, Canada and I have always hated it at home to the point I would do anything to avoid going home right away or being around my parents. I have next to no privacy and when I make money I don’t want my family to know about I have to hide it. My family is highly transphobic and they refuse to call me by my chosen name and use he/him pronouns and no matter how many times I have asked for a haircut they either ignore me or say “we will think about it” then don’t answer me and the next time I bring it up they act like I never talked about it. I really don’t like being at home because of many reasons but I turn 16 in just under two months. Can I run away from my parents home to live with a friend until I get an apartment?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hello I’m 15 about to turn 16 in September. I can’t stand my dad he’s a single parent but I get blamed for everything. I don’t get to do anything I go to school come straight home and he even works in school. I never get to go out with friends. Go to a school dance or anything. I get blamed for everything and my dad and I are always fighting. I have ran away once and he found me and brought me home. I don’t want to live with him no more. I can’t this is living hell. Help me please.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your mom can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor (like smoking or gambling). If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home but there wouldn't be any formal charges.

    If you’d like to go over 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.

    Stay safe,
    NRS

    We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
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