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

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  • #76
    I am 14 at the moment. I live in Colorado. I have done research on what the rules are on leaving home before 18. I have a mapped out plan, But I want to leave at 16 (So I can get a drivers license.) I have a friend in Texas who Ive known for a while and am. very close too that I decided would be the best course of action to move in with if I ran away. I could go to school, have shelter, food and water, and basically all my needs. I would be able to make an income for myself as well. My plan at the moment is to wait until I am 16 to go anywhere. My friend has agreed to the idea, and we have two years to think about it and if it will work out. But I am not sure if I can do this without the police coming for me. I feel abused in my house, and I genuinely feel like it would be better for me to move out. I am really not sure what I can do. Do you have suggestions?? I need to get out of here as soon as possible.
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 03-22-2019, 02:08 PM.

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    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,

      Thanks for reaching out. We’re sorry to hear things are so overwhelming at home. It’s understandable that you would want to leave and live with a friend, but it’s good that you’re asking for some more information before taking any big steps.

      Your safety is of utmost importance. If you feel like you’re being abused and want to report it, or simply want to talk to someone about what’s going on at home, you can call Child Help at 1-800-422-4453. You can also call our crisis center at 1-800-786-2929 or try our online chat at 1800runaway.org if calling isn’t your thing. Someone is always available to listen and to help.

      Technically, it would not be illegal for you to run away at 16, but your parents could file a runaway report and the police may try to bring you back home. It would be considered a status offense to run away at that age, but you would remain a minor and under your parents’ or guardians’ custody. It may be worth exploring other options, especially as you feel abused at home and have the right to report that in search of a safer environment.

      If you have any further questions about this or simply want to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to reach out to either of the numbers we provided. It sounds like you’re in a really tough situation. It can make a world of difference to talk with someone else about what you’re going through. Thanks again for reaching out and we hope to hear from you soon.

  • #77
    Hi I'm 16 and I live in Texas. I would like to move out of my parent’s house and in with my boyfriend and his family. They live 3 hours away from where I live. I can't stand living here anymore. My sister is abusive and is constantly threatening to hit me. All I ever do is work. I'm homeschooled and I very rarely have time to do my work other than at night after everyone is asleep because I'm constantly being told to do things around the house. They are always insulting me and joking about my sister being abusive like it doesn’t hurt me. I would really just like to move out and be with the few people who truly care. Can I move out without parental consent with no consequences and without worrying about his family being charged with anything? Will I have to worry about being forced to move back home?
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 03-27-2019, 12:38 AM.

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    • #78
      Reply: Hi I'm 16 and I live in Texas

      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS).

      We appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on.
      You don’t deserve to be abused with threats or not have your feelings taken seriously.
      As of right now you’re feeling like leaving and going to stay with a friend might be a nice alternative for you.
      While we are not experts on the law, 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. For more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the 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 understand that the constant mistreatment has caused you some frustration.
      You did a good job by reaching out today. NRS is here to listen and here to help.
      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


      We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: Your Opinion Matters to Us
      Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

      National Runaway Safeline
      [email protected] (Crisis Email)
      1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

      Tell us what you think about your experience!
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

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      • #79
        Can I legally leave home at age 16 to live in the UK with a friend without my parents consent.

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        • 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. In regards to your question, we are not legal experts nor are we affiliated with the police so we can only speak generally about what could happen if a youth leaves home without the consent of a guardian. Leaving home without parental consent (running away) is not a crime, so the police will not arrest you. If you do leave home without permission your guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. Running away is not a crime it is a status offence (something that only a minor can get in trouble for: truancy, buying cigarettes, etc.) this means that if you have any interaction with the police they will simply return you home. On the other hand the people that you are found to be staying with could face legal consequences that vary depending on your state. You can find out more about how runaway’s reports are carried out by contacting your local police department. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
          Best wishes,
          NRS

      • #80
        Im 16 in nys and my parents are threatening to kick me out because of some stuff... can they legally do that?

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

          That seems really hurtful that your parents are threatening to kick you out. Generally, it is not legal to kick out a minor without sending them somewhere safe where they can stay and Child Protective Services (CPS) could see that as neglect. If you are kicked out, you have the right to call CPS and report the abuse, and you also have the right to call 9-1-1 and let them know that you were kicked out and need help. If you are interested in reporting, you might reach out to the expert child advocates at Child Help 1-800-422-4453. If you call us here at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we can help call out and make that abuse report with you.

          Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk more about your situation. We are here to listen, here to help: 1-800-RUNAWAY; www.1800runaway.org.

          Best,

          NRS

      • #81
        hi my name is hiba I'm from morocco I want runaway to korea south but I want someone to help me Ican't stay with my familly because I have a lot of dreams to achieve. For example, I am a professional football player but my family does not care about my motivation and help me realize my dreams cause my family is intellectually fanatic please help me
        THANK YOU

        Comment


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi, Hiba,
          It’s difficult when you have a family that doesn’t support your dreams and talents. We support you and your attempts to realize what you want out of life and would like to help you but unfortunately we’re not legal experts regarding running away from one country to another. We may not be able to tell you exactly what your parents could do or if anyone you stay with might be at risk for harboring a runaway.
          Do you have a plan for who you would stay with and how you would get to South Korea? Are you talking with a team in South Korea that could help? We’d be more than happy to talk to you about what’s going on with your parents and talk through the options that sound good to you—and even some you may not have thought of. Please feel to reach out to us 24/7 at 1.800.RUNAWAY or chat with us at 1800runaway.org. We’re here to listen and here to help.
          And we wish you the best!
          - NRS

      • #82
        Hi, I'm 14 and I wanna move out but I wanna wait till i turn 16. I just wanna know if Ican move out at 16 if my parents say yes, but if they don't, what is something I can do?

        Comment


        • ccsmod3
          ccsmod3 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there and thanks for contacting National Runaway Safeline. We are more than happy to discuss the concern you have with moving out at 16. Just so that you are aware, we are not legal experts here at NRS and the information we provide is general. If you would like more concrete legal information, it may be beneficial to speak with a legal advisor which we could aid you with looking into should you chat live with us or give us a call. At 16, in most states, you are not legally an adult but legally at age of consent. This is why it can probably become a bit confusing about the age you are able to move out without consent from a parent. At 16, you would still need consent from your parents to move out. You are able to consent to some things such as health concerns, but, legally you are required to be under supervision of a parent or legal guardian until you are of legal adult age. This means that your parents or legal adult has the parental and legal right to determine where you stay and consent or decline you leaving the home. If this is a concern for you, it may be beneficial to explore the reasons why you are wanting to leave and some ways those issues or reasons can possibly be resolved- especially if you feel your parent or legal guardian won’t consent to you moving out. The only way you can move out from your parents’ home without their consent in most cases is if they somehow do not have legal custody of you anymore. This can happen with emancipation in some cases. Though emancipation is challenging to have granted, this is an option you have the right to explore and get more information about. We hope this information is helpful to you. Please, feel free to reach out again at any time should you need to. We are available 24/7 via our hotline and you can reach us by calling 1800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat with us live by visiting our website 1800runaway.org. Best of luck.

      • #83
        i would like to go live with my mom but my dad has custody and i’m 16 so am i allowed to choose where i would like to live even though there’s a custody agreement

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        • 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 we do have general knowledge of the laws. From our understanding if your dad has custody and you left without their permission, they could file a runaway report. If the police found you they could bring you back home. One option is you could try asking your father for permission to go live with your mother. We know having these conversations can be scary, at NRS we offer conference calling where if you call us we would call out to your dad and have a conference call. Conference calling allows you to be heard and we are there to help mediate the conversation and provide support to you.
          We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support to you. We wish you the best of luck!
          NRS

      • #84
        I live in Virginia and I am 16. My stepdad is verbally, psychologically, emotionally, and in the past has physically abusive to me and my mom. I have ran away 6 times to get away from my stepdad. He slammed my head into the wall and lied about it. He tried to shove my mom down the stairs when she was pregnant. He threw her on the floor to keep her from getting help. I have to watch my little brother (9) covering his ears and crying about 5 five feet away from all this chaos. It breaks my heart. I met my dad 4 July 2017. He is my Best friend. he is just like me. He has a new son (6). Ive tried to go live with him by going to court, but they didnt let me, they just gave me a restrainig order in my stepdad. My life has just been a blur of pain and suffering. I am lost in my own thoughts, unorganized. This abuse has been going on since I was like 12. It is so hard because the person who is supposed to be my protector is telling i am a piece of ********, unoriginal, a liar, messed up, and makes fun of my past sexual abuse. I cant live this way. Just cant. I have tried to kill myself twice. Save me.

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,

          Thanks so much for reaching out. We are sorry to hear that your stepdad has been abusive to you. No one deserves to be treated that way and you have the right to keep yourself safe. We really appreciate you reaching out and it sounds like you’re doing the best you can in a very difficult situation. Have you ever thought about making an abuse report with child protective services? You are able to make the report yourself but also have the option of calling Child Help, the national child abuse hotline. Child Help’s number is 1-800-422-4453 and their website is childhelp.org. The one thing about the report is that often, they ask for a lot of information about the abuse and would want to contact your stepfather as well. You do have the right to be safe and also to get support and feel supported. Another number that may help provide support if you feel like hurting is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It sounds like you’ve been going through a lot alone for a long time and you deserve to feel heard and understood. We are sorry to hear that your stepfather is mocking you and calling you horrible names. No one deserves to be talked to like that or treated that way. Another resource that may help if you feel very overwhelmed or would like to seek a counselor or someone to talk to is NAMI, the national alliance on mental illness. They may also be able to find mental health resources in your area. NAMI’s number is 1-800-950-NAMI and their website is www.nami.org. We at National Runaway Safeline are also here if you ever wanted someone to talk to or receive extra support. As we said above, our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY and you can also message us on our website www.1800runaway.org. We are here to help and open 24 hours 7 days a week.

          We are not legal experts but running away is a status offense, so it would be listed as a misdemeanor and not go on your permanent record. The only thing is that if you run away without parents’ permission then they could file a runaway report with the police, which is still a misdemeanor not an offense. However, if you stay with your father without parental permission, it could be considered harboring a runaway for him. As mentioned before, we are not legal experts, so if you wanted to run away without parental consent, a resource for Virginia could be the Central Virginia Legal aid, whose number is 804-648-1012. They are open Monday through Friday 9 am-11:30 am and on Saturday from 9 am-1 pm. If you have more questions please feel free to reach out via email, message, or phone. You do not have to go through this alone and you are not alone.
          We wish you all the best,
          NRS
          1-800-Runaway
          www.1800runaway.org

      • #85
        I'm not trying to run away, but my situation is where my dad won't let me go to this guys house that I want to see. I'm 16 and he's 17 and we have been kind of dating/talking for a long time. Almost 9 months now. And all I want to do is be able to go to his house, I'm not doing anything illegal with him and his parents are there the whole time. All I want to know is, am I legally allowed to go to his house without my dads consent?

        Comment


        • ccsmod5
          ccsmod5 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,
          Thank you for contacting us here at the National Runaway Safeline. We understand how difficult it must be to want your independence as well as your dad’s trust and not feel like you are able to get this. You may want to try inviting the guy you’re seeing to your house and giving your dad a chance to get to know him. This may help you all gain his trust. It might also be helpful if your dad could call his parents and talk about your situation and his concerns. Sometimes opening the lines of communication is a good place to start.
          You ask if you are legally allowed to spend time at your friend’s house without you dad’s permission. We are not legal experts but we can say that the age of majority in most states is 18; that’s the age at which you can legally leave home without your parent or guardian’s consent. You can check the specific age of majority in your state on the website www.sexetc.org.
          If you want to give us a call, we can discuss your situation, strategies that might be helpful to you and any other issues you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and we’re here to listen and help. We hope to hear from you soon.
          Take care,
          NRS

      • #86
        Hello I’m 16 and I live in New Jersey with my cousin who has sole custody with I want to move but she will not let me and I can’t stay here anymore one of my friends said they might be able to take me in what should I do?

        Comment


        • ccsmod9
          ccsmod9 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

      • #87
        I'm 15 years old living in a house in Pennsylvania that my grandfather owns with my mother. My mother is a drug addict with no job and my grandfather is extremely mentally and sometimes physically abusive. He threatens to throw me out on a weekly and has done so many times. His abuse is so extreme that my mother has PTSD from him and I've tried to kill myself multiple time to try and escape him. I have no where left to turn and things are getting much worse. I don't know what options i have left.

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        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey there, Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. Your mom and grandfather should be taking care of you and providing you with a safe and secure home. It sounds really difficult to live with your mother since she has an addiction. If you'd like to talk to others in similar situations as your own you can check out Nar-Anon, a support group for friends and families of addicts - https://www.nar-anon.org/.

          You mentioned some things that raise concern for your safety and well-being. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused or neglected. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. 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. It may also be a good idea to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

          You mentioned that you have tried to kill yourself multiple times. 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 Hotline 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 can be really hard to live with mental health issues and with some who has and we want you to know that you aren’t alone in addressing them. If you’d like some additional support, an organization that may be helpful is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can contact them by calling 1-800-950-NAMI or you can text them by sending NAMI to 741741. Another agency that could be of great help is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), they can help you locate low or no cost mental health care providers in your area. Their number is 1-877-726-4727 or you can go to their site at samhsa.gov.

          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.
          All the best,
          NRS

      • #88
        Hi, im 17yrs old and just had a child. I live at my grandmothers. My mom wont let my childs father at my grams and i want to move in with him and his mother. Can i legally do that without getting anyone in trouble?

        Comment


        • ccsmod10
          ccsmod10 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us your story. It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time right now and we hope to be able to help. It sounds frustrating that your mother is preventing your child’s father from seeing the baby. We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your mom could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. Your boyfriend and his parents could potentially get in trouble for harboring a minor. Some police departments don’t accept runaway reports for 17 year olds, but the policies may vary by each department. You could consider calling your local non-emergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.

          One service we can offer is to conference call with your parents. This way you could have a conversation with your parents but you would not be alone. For example, it may be hard for you to explain to your mom and grandmother why having your boyfriend around is important to you. Sometimes those conversations go better in a conference call because we can advocate for you. If you want to reach us, you can chat with us anytime at 1800runaway.org or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We’re here 24/7, and we are ready to listen and help however we can.

          -NRS.

      • #89
        Hi I’m 18 I live in Indiana this is mostly for my gf she’s 16 she doesn’t want to live with her parents anymore her step dad is very abusive always threatening to slap her and all that so she constantly scared to be there she wants to move in with me but i do t know what the consequences of that would be we currently work at the same job both full time and she has a place with me what are the repercussions on my end if I let it happen?

        Comment


        • ccsmod6
          ccsmod6 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi, thanks for contacting National Runaway Safeline. It seems like you are dealing with a difficult situation right now. You seem very concerned about your girlfriend and seem to really want to help her. Your girlfriend moving out at 16 to live with you can pose some risks. At 16, she is likely considered a minor in her state. This means that in the case that she leaves, her parents are able to file a runaway report and contact authorities in hopes of bringing her back home. She technically, cannot live outside of the home without her parent’s permission without this being a risk. It sounds like your girlfriend may be experiencing some abuse in the home based on what you’ve shared with us so far. That must be scary for her and you as well. Just so that you are aware, she has the option to file abuse in the home with the department of children services. If she would like more information about that, it may be beneficial to inform her about Child Help. Child Help has a number of professionals who may be able to provide her with more information about that option and process. Their number is 1800-422-4453 and their website is childhelp.org. We would love to talk with you or your girlfriend further about more options for her. Please feel free to call us at any time or inform your girlfriend that she can call at 1800-RUNAWAY. Also, feel free to chat with us live by visiting our website 1800runaway.org. Best of luck.

      • #90
        Hi, I am 16 about to be 17 in a month in Florida can I legally leave my house without parents permission, I don't feel welcome at home anymore. If I leave the house they would call the police and I don't want to get my friend in trouble is it legal for them to do that he is 17 about to be 18 in a month. I want to leave legally but I know they won't emancipate me, I have support and a shelter.

        Comment


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello There,
          Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline and sharing a little bit of your story. It sounds like you are going through a difficult time, ideally home is a place you feel welcomed at. We are not legal experts but we do have information on the laws. In Florida the age of majority is 18 years old, which means that if you leave home at 17 your legal guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. Running away is not a criminal offense it is a status offense. What that means is if the police did find you they most likely would bring you home. Also there is a thing called “harboring a runaway”, which your friend could get charged with if you were staying with them. You could always call your local police department and ask how they would handle a situation like yours. Some police departments may not take a runaway report for someone who is 17, but it depends on the police department.
          We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore your options further 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
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