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

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  • #46
    Hi my name is Sierra, i can't take it anymore I can'y be at home knowing that my parents don't love me. They mentally, physically, and verbally abuse me and it's about time i done something about it. I am 15 right now and I turn 16 in May. Although i don't know how to drive I still need to get out of my parents house. Can anyone help me?

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Sierra,
      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 sounds like you are having a lot of issues at home with your parents. It is understandable that you would want to leave a place where you don’t feel loved. First off we want to say that abuse whether its physical, sexual, emotional or verbal, it is never okay and you do not deserve it and do have the right to report it. We want you to know that you do have the right to make a report with Child Protective Services. Child Help USA is an information and referral line that can connect you with your local CPS abuse hotline. That number is 1-800-422-4453. If you ever felt like making a report or needed help, we are here to assist with that. We understand that making an abuse report can be intimidating so if you like we can call together to provide support.
      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.
      We hope to hear from you soon.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • #47
    i am currently 16 and i have some questions about moving out at the age i am right now and i dont know the law on moving out without parent consent and i feel like my mom is just kind of giving up on me and im not gonna lie i am a troubled kid but im a road of good and i just want to get away and what can i do at the age i am and how do i get started and i just need a little advice on what to do cuz i really dont know what to do anymore i feel like i have no freedom anymore and im always feel depressed and im not really the kind of kid to be like this i mean im in sports and im active and i like to hang out with friends but i feel like my mom just wont let me go and do the things id like but i dont know what to do anymore so im looking for some help''''btw i live in minnesota ,,, can i move out without parent consent?

    Comment


    • ccsmod11
      ccsmod11 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello, and 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 and are wondering what the law is on leaving home without parental consent. 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 without your parent's consent, your parent 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.

      You mentioned feeling depressed and not being sure what to do. While we are certainly here to listen and here to help in whatever way we can, another resource to consider is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Their telephone number is 1-800-273-8255 and the website is www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. They provide, "24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."

      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).

      Best, NRS

  • #48
    I just.... need to leave. I am in my early to mid teens, 5'11, and I just got my braces off, and I have planned with supplies, bus routes, I know not to use a phone, carrying cheap non perishable food, bringing pepper spray, a pocket knife (just in case), tough boots, I have physical conditioning, I know how to run very fast with the least amount of energy taken, clean water and the knowledge of how to filter dirty water to be clean, books, and multiple pairs of clothes that do not look like what I usually wear. and a pillow and blanket also at least 6500 dollars etc etc. Anyways I take care of my dog most of the time, and he is fairly young and a small breed (around 2yo and 25 pounds). It pains me if I leave since I feel responsible for him, and he deeply loves me. I can't let him be lonely and the thought of him missing me til he dies pains me. I so want to take him, but I feel he would have a better life back home, with a family, instead of a future bum like me to raise him. What do I do?

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been going through such a tough time, but we are here to support you and help you in any way we can.
      It sounds like all of your struggles are making you consider leaving home and that you’ve considered a lot of things in your plan to leave. Here are some other things to consider if you haven’t already: How will you stay safe? How would you would pay for food, shelter, clothing and other necessary things when you run out of money or supplies. You could think about how long you would stay away, where you would stay, and what things would be like when you return. You could consider what you would do if you felt that you were in danger or had an emergency. You could consider reaching out to the National Safe Place for help finding a safe place if you need it: https://www.nationalsafeplace.org/. You could also contact this agency by sending a text to 69866. That also sounds really stressful and sad to make that decision about your dog. We can’t really tell you what to do, but we’re always here to support you and help you explore options. You could call us at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us online if you wanted to talk through this more.
      If you haven’t already, you could consider reaching out to a trusted adult, relative, worker/teacher/counselor at your school for help and support. You could also consider talking to your parents about how you’ve been feeling. Just so you’re aware, we have a conference calling service here where we could help mediate a conversation between you and your parents.
      There are also many resources that could help you find a safe place or help you with anything else you may need. If you want to talk more about what’s been going on, or if you would like more information about resources, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online.
      Again, thank you for contacting us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really hard time, but you’ve shown a lot of strength by working through these challenges and reaching out for help. If you ever need anything in the future, please feel free to call us or chat with us online. We’re always here to listen and here to help.

  • #49
    Hello, my boyfriend has been struggling for quite some time with his parents. They are verbally and emotionally abusive. He wants to love out and live with his grandparents. In Nebraska is this legal? Dies he need to go to court to get permission?

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      Thank you for reaching out during this difficult time, it sounds like you care a lot about your boyfriend and want to see him be in the best situation. He can contact Child Help at 1-800-422-4453, the local police or his school counselor. We here at the National Runaway Safeline are also mandated reporters, so if he feels comfortable she can contact us. If he needs a safe place to go, we can help him find resources in her area such as a youth shelter. She can also go to https://www.nationalsafeplace.org/ and find a safe place in his area.
      In Nebraska, he would be considered a minor until the age of 18. He does have the option of looking into emancipation, which would involve him going to the courts. If he can give us a call, we can try and help provide legal aid referrals for him. We are available 24/7 if you or your boyfriend wants to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-929).

  • #50
    I'm 14 and in 4 months I will be 15. I live in Georgia and I honestly need any type of answers I can get. I'm in a situation I need to get out of. I'm a middle child of 5; 1 Biological and 3 step. I have a biological mother and a "Step-father". I have never met my father, he's in jail. His name isn't on my birth papers or any papers to do with rights over me. My "Mother" has only had rights over me for 3 years (Since 11) and I do not enjoy living with her. I was raised by my Great Aunt and Great Uncle along with my Great Grandmother. My Aunt has had custody of me for 11 years since I was 8 months. I do not suffer from physical abuse, but mental. I want to live with my Great Grandmother and Grandmother. I already have a room at their home and they are both able to take care of me money wise; both are okay with me moving in with them, but my "Mother" would never allow it. I constantly live in fear with my mother and I feel as though i'm never good enough. I live with 2 sixteen year old, another 14 year old (I'm technically a year older), and a 13 year old. I'm always in a fight with one of them either yelling or actually fist fighting each-other and they always get favoritism. I want to know if there is anyway I can get away from them. Move out. I have somewhere to go and they are family, but legally, can i leave without my guardians permission? She will never hand over rights and i'm afraid if I do something I will end up back here and i'm scared I'll actually suffer from physical abuse. Is there anyway I can choose where I live?

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 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 your aunt 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. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. It may also be a good place to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

      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

  • #51
    My girlfriend is currently 16 and living with her mother. She is treated as a prisoner whereas her two younger siblings get to do whatever they would like, whenever they would like. She is constantly being abused both physically and emotionally by her mother. She moved in with her grandparents over the summer but was forced to move back in with her mom whenever school started so she could continue her education. I know that if I let her stay with me and my family then we could get into a lot of legal trouble and we cannot afford it. Is there anything she could do to get out of that situation? Her mom has lied and manipulated DSS service workers into believing that she is a non-compliant child so they believe nothing that my girlfriend says. Her mom has clearly stated to all three of her children that she smokes marijuana (which is not legal in the state of South Carolina) and we have reason to believe that she is also under the influence of other controlled substances. She went to stay with her grandparents for the course of 4 days to try to get out of the house and I offered to pick her up from school to try to help her grandmother out in regards to what time school gets let out and gas seeing as her grandmother lives 30 minutes away from the school. In turn, whenever her mother found out that I had picked her up from school and took her to the zoo afterwards (which we have proof that her grandmother has given us permission to go) her mother proceeded to call her grandmother to talk to my girlfriend, seeing that as soon as she moved back into her mothers house, her phone was taken immediately, and proceeded to belittle her and undermine her and threaten her. I am scared that my girlfriend is going to end up hurting herself or worse, killing herself due to the environment that she is in. Is there anything I can do to help her?

    Comment


    • ccsmod5
      ccsmod5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi, it looks like you reached out to use through one of our other platforms (phone, chat, email, etc) about your situation. We hope that was helpful, but if you have any other questions or need additional resources, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at 1-800-786-2929.

      Take care,

      NRS

  • #52
    Im 16 I Live In Connecticut I Do Not Want To Be Home AnyMore Can I Leave Home WithOut my parents sending police to bring me home

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 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 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.

      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

  • #53
    Hi im 16, my parents are divorced and my dad has full custody, I hate living with him. is it possible for me to move in with my mom without her getting in trouble and by not having my dad consent?

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that living with your dad has gotten to a point where you hate it and no longer can bear to do it. While we are not legal experts it is our understanding that, as your legal guardian, your dad does determine where you have to live until you are no longer a minor. If you are having such difficulties with your dad, maybe it might be a good idea to talk to your mom about the possibility of her regaining some custody. Unfortunately, it is hard for us to say much about your situation without more information, but if you would like to talk more about what is going on in greater detail, please reach out to us on our 24/7 hotline 1-800-RUNAWAY or on chat at 1800runaway.org. We would be happy to work with you to figure out what all of your options are.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • #54
    If I run away can the police force me to come back home ??

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. While we are not legal experts, if you are a minor, your parents can file a runaway report. Usually, this means that if you do encounter the police, they will notify your legal guardian and either take you home or hold you until your parents pick you up. If you want to talk more about your situation and what’s going on, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at our 24/7 hotline 1-800-RUNAWAY or on chat at 1800runaway.org.

  • #55
    Can a 16 yr old leave home without parents consent

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. We are not legal experts, but in most states the legal age to leave home is 18 years old. If you were to leave home before turning 18 you could be considered as a runaway. Running away is not a criminal offense it is a status offense. What that means is that if you were to run away and the police find you they would most likely bring you back home. We hope this information was helpful in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to talk more please feel free to give us a call, we are here 24/7. Best of luck!
      NRS

  • #56
    I want to leave my home, but I don’t want to just run away. I would like to get emancipated. The only problem with that is that my parent will not sign for me to do so. I love my family but they stress me out. They are the reason I’m always depressed, and I even sometimes contemplate suicide. I’m usually on my own, considering my mom works most of the time. I only see her for 3 hours a day. Either she is sleeping, or I am sleeping. My life isn’t as bad as most people, but I would still like to get out of there before I do something I might regret. Is there a way to get emancipated without my parent knowing? I would like to do so and leave her a note stating that I got emancipated and that calling the cops would not help. I want to do everything legally and safe. Please help me!

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are wanting to leave home due to feeling stressed and depressed, and you have suicidal thoughts before. That is a whole lot to be going through, and it was really brave of you to reach out for help. Here at NRS, we truly want to support you during this difficult time.

      It seems like you’re fearing that the situation may end in suicide if things don’t change. Your safety 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.

      If you haven't already, you might try to reach out to a parent or trusted adult and let them know how you are feeling. You so deserve to be supported when you are feeling down. If you haven't already, you might also consider processing how you are feeling through talk therapy with a counselor. Sometimes seeking professional help can really help. Please call or chat us if you are interested in local counseling resources. We also have a conference call service if you would like an advocate on the phone with you when talking to your parents.

      It sounds like you are focused on getting emancipated quickly. One thing to consider is that emancipation can be a timely and costly process that could last 3 months to a year. You might be able to petition for emancipation on your own, but that is dependent on your state's laws, some states do require parents to petition for youth. Please call or chat us if you are interested in learning more about your state's emancipation law.

      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.

      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.

      We hope to hear from you soon.

      Be safe and stay strong,

      NRS
      Last edited by ccsmod7; 12-20-2018, 09:54 AM.

  • #57
    I am 15 years old and living with my grandparents is kinda hard, they do not have full custody of me but act as if they do and wont let me go amywhere else like a different family member or so. I wamted to go live with my 20 year old brother and my sister in law. But I just wanted to know that if I just left would I get into ttouble with the law, or would my brither get into trouble for letting me love with him. And would there be a difference if I left at 16?

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello there,
      Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. Not being able to go anywhere can be tough. Unfortunately because you are a minor if you were to leave home before turning 18 you could be considered as a runaway. We are not legal experts but do have general knowledge of the laws. If you were to runaway and the police found you they most likely would bring you back home. Also you asked if your brother could get in trouble if you lived with him. There is a thing called harboring a runaway, which your legal guardian would have to press charges. Usually if someone were to get in trouble for harboring a runaway it would most likely be a fine that your brother would have to pay. It probably would not make a difference if you were 15 or 16 years old. You could look into emancipation, which would make you have adult rights before turning 18. We can give you legal aid resources if you call us and provide your city and state. We hope this information helped you in your situation. If you have any other questions please feel free to give us a call, we are here 24/7. We wish you the best of luck.
      NRS

  • #58
    I’m 16 years old I live in Arkansas I have a lot of problems with my mother and step father there 4 other children besides me. I get left at home hours after hours with the kids. I take care of them most of the time the youngest is 1 and the second oldest is 11. My parents always are talking about what I wear and how I sit on the couch. My boyfriend is 17 he comes over and we cuddle like any other teenage couple does my parents don’t like how I could’ve or do anything with out there permission. I hardly get to leave the home maybe 1 a month while my 11 year old sister runs the roads until dark. How can I move out at my age?

    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 right now. It must be tough and a lot of responsibility being left at home for hours at a time with the kids. You could consider talking to your parents about how you feel, and that you do not want babysitting duties. You could also consider joining activities, so maybe you would be able to leave the home more. At NRS we offer conference calling where if you call us we can call out to your parents, and we would help support you. Conference calling is good when you want to have a conversation with your parents but are nervous or afraid, we also help mediate the conversation so you feel heard. Because you are a minor, if you were to move out without your parent’s permission you could be considered a runaway. We are not legal experts but in most cases if the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home. You could also try to file for emancipation. If you give us a call and provide your city and state we can give you free legal aid numbers. We hope this information will be helpful in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like more information please feel free to call us we are available 24/7. Best of luck!
      NRS

  • #59
    Hi I'm currently 15 turning 16 in September and I've been wanting to move out at 16 for awhile it's not like I have major issues at home it's just that I'm extremely independent and me and my friend who I've known since elementary who is turning 17 in June have been planning this for awhile I was wondering if we were legally allowed to rent an apartment together I was just wondering cause we've been saving for awhile and it would be a pain to get our hopes up only to find out that we can't.

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks for reaching out to us, it takes a lot of strength to share your story. The age of majority in most states is 18, which means you would be considered a minor until then. We’re not legal experts here at NRS, but generally you have to be a legal adult to be able to sign a lease and rent an apartment. There are a lot of contingencies related to moving out on your own and it’s important to think about your plan of action for things that may arise. It’s vital to plan for things like travel to/from school, how you’ll pay for food, utilities, clothes, healthcare, etc.

      If you want to talk more in depth about the situation or if you want to go over other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on the top of our home page. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way that we can.

      All the best,
      NRS

  • #60
    Hi. I’m 17. My dad gave me permission to move in with my boyfriend and his family. But now he’s threatening to File a “Missing Persons” report because I spent the night at my friends house. Is that legal?

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out today.

      Sounds like your dad gave you permission to move and then filed you as a runaway. That seems really hurtful that he was not upfront with you when he originally gave you permission.

      We are not legal experts, but we can speak generally. From our understanding, a guardian giving permission is not legally binding and they are legally allowed to go back on giving you permission. He is still your legal guardian and is allowed to go back on his permission, even though it seems pretty unfair.

      Since you are 17, if you do not go home and he files a runaway report, what could happen would depend on how police respond to the situation. It is possible that they could take it less seriously than younger runaway reports, but it is also possible that police could return you home. You might reach out to local police by calling their non-emergency number to see how they would handle the situation.

      Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk through your situation with someone. You are not alone.

      Best of luck,

      NRS
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