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

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  • I’m 14 years old & I have an older sister that I don’t like to associate with. My mom says to let her be but she treats me like ********. Sadly we live in the same household and share the same room. I feel like my mom really only cares about my older sister and not me. I absolutely do not want to be treated like this in my family & I want to run away from my home way sooner than 16 years old. I live in California & I’m not sure if that’s possible.
    Last edited by ccsmod1; 06-23-2019, 03:18 AM.

    Comment


    • 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. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. It sounds like your mom isn’t listening to you when you are trying to express your thoughts and feelings about your current situation. It could be a good idea to work with a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a school counselor/social worker, trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you'd like, you can also call us directly and we can conduct a conference call with your mom so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

      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

  • I'm 16 and in September I will be 17. I live in oregon and i want to move in with my dad who lives in Washington. My problem is that if i asked my mom I would be told no and yelled at for thinking of such a thing. I hate living with my family because all they do is make fun on me and the only time they seem to want me around is when their house needs clean. Normally I just spend a lot of time with extra curricular activities such as my schools after school woodshop program but now that it's summer and I'm grounded I'm not really aloud out of my room until my step mom go's to work. The only way I'm writing this is because my friend graciously slipped me a smartphone while my family was asleep. I feel like my family does not love me and honestly I feel they think of me more as a tool than a child. I'm always depressed and when i try to talk to them about me not feeling loved they say it's bull******** and ground me for being disrespectful. My mom always complains she doesn't get to spend time with me and my siblings but all she does is watch tv and tell us to go away. I just want to go live with my dad but I know my mom would call the cops if I left.

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      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. It sounds really hard to live in a home with so much tension between you and your mom. It could be a good idea to work with a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a school counselor/social worker, trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you'd like, you can also call us directly and we can conduct a conference call with your mom so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

      You may want to speak directly to your dad about your desire to live with him to see how he feels and if you two can speak with your mom together about this. It should be noted that this process can be time-consuming and may require the involvement of lawyers and family court.

      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

  • Hey im 16 and im dating a 18 year old, weve been dating for 5 years and i wanted to know if i could file for emancipation in kentucky and live with him. At home my parents are always arguing and yelling at each other and its really hurting me. Could i file for emancipation at 16 and live with me 18 year old boyfriend if he has a job and pays all bills?

    Comment


    • 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. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. We’re not legal experts here at NRS, so we can’t give you any legal advice. There is no clear statute for emancipation in the state of Kentucky. If you'd like, you can try contacting Kentucky Youth Advocates, a local legal aid group at 502-895-8167 for more information or to explore other legal options that you may have available to you.

      If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, 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

  • I'm 16 and went over to my brother's place and chose to move in. My mom threatened to call the police for my brother and his friends who also live there, as they are now "Harboring a Minor". We all have jobs, myself included, and can support ourselves financially. My brother would be the one mainly taking care of me, but his friends do as well. I think the living arrangements are satisfactory, but if the police come would they disagree and take me home, or worse: actually arrest my brother and his friends for letting me stay?

    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. Meaning that yes even your brother could be charged for that as well. Your mom ultimately has command of what you do or who you stay with until you are 18. It’s not jail time but if you stay there longer the consequences can be more and more severe as the time goes on and you are still in that residence. 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'm 16 and I'll be 17 in about 3 months. I don't really want to run away. I just want to live on my own and be responsible for myself. But my parents have made it difficult for me to do the things I need to do in order to file emancipation. I have to have a list of requirements filled in order for the judge to consider it and I know my parents will not agree with it. I know how to take care of myself and I can keep myself in school and I can get transportation. I know you guys will probably give me the same advice as you have others but I'd like to hear what you have to say anyway.

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that your situation at home has deteriorated to the point where you feel like you need to leave. We support you in whatever decision you make and will help in any way that we can. We can talk you through the process that you are going through and provide support in that way. We can also refer you to legal resources in your area if we have any in our database. We would love to chat with you about what is going on and if you are interested, please don’t hesitate to call us on our 24/7 hotline 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • Hi I am Natalie I wanted to ask if I’m 16 and my boyfriend is 18 can i live with him without parent concent

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,

      Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It is not always easy to reach out for help, so it demonstrates bravery that you have written us.
      It sounds like you are looking to run away and want to know about the legality of it. We are not legal experts here, but we do have some general legal knowledge about running away. Basically, if you run away before you are a legal adult—and in all states you are still a minor at age 16—your parent or legal guardian can report you as a runaway youth and the police can bring you back home. Running away is what is called a status offense, meaning it is something you cannot do because of your age. You won’t be thrown in jail or get charged with anything. If there is something going on at home that makes you feel unsafe, you should consider calling us at 1-800-786-2929, and we can talk about your options.
      We hope this is helpful for you. We hope as you move forward that you will feel free to reach out to us at any time. We are always here to listen, here to help. Good luck with your situation.

      Sincerely,
      National Runaway Safeline

  • im 15 inn south carolina, i would like to leave home as soon as legally possible. i cant get a job, i basically have no contact with the outside world. i have 4 siblings and i live with my mom and every day theres always an issue.people are always screaming and fighting and arguing. my mom has no respect for me, constantly makes remarks about me being a slut and such. she's one hit me by pulling my hair, slapping me, punching me and at one point choked me for a few seconds. i dont want to call anyone on her because if i did my family would be separated from each other and no one would be there to take care of my little brother who's only 10. i dont know what my options are, i just want out of this house the most legal way possible without any trouble.

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      It looks as though you might have contacted NRS today through another means (for example, live chat, email or bulletin) for the same issue. Thanks you so much for reaching out. NRS understands it takes courage to reach out for help; therefore, we would like to minimize the need for you to repeat your situation and avoid offering you duplicate services.

      Best of luck,

      NRS

  • Hi I’m *******, and I can’t live at home with my dad anymore, and nor my mother they are both mentally abusive and are not compatible for me. I am adopted and they split but they are not the parents they used to be. I need help I’m 16 and wanna leave but I don’t want to get into any type of trouble. My best friend since I was a young kid has offered to let me stay with him but I don’t want him or his parents to get into legal troubles. Please give me some advice on what to do because I can’t live with my parents anymore I’m going to be 17 soon and I need a way out.
    Last edited by ccsmod7; 06-28-2019, 02:23 AM.

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are going through a whole lot at home and looking to leave soon.

      You mentioned experiencing emotional abuse which may be reportable against your parents. Please keep in mind you by no means deserve any type of abuse, emotional or otherwise. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for compared to physical abuse which is often what CPS relies on when conducting an abuse investigation. That said, we can’t be 100% sure what the outcome will be if your local CPS decides to open a case based on what you share. Sometimes CPS decides to remove minors from the home and other times they offer services such as family counseling or mediation instead. The only way to know the outcome might be to reach out to them directly and if you’re ready to do that we are here to help you through that process. Reaching out to Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org may help to get a better understanding of what may happen before and after a report is made.

      You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18 to live with a friend. The easiest way to leave home is with your guardian’s permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your guardian. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.

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

      Be safe,

      NRS

  • Hello I am 16 live in the state of Wyoming and I do know how emancipation works; have to have a place to live and way to support yourself financially and continue on with school but since I am 16 do I need both of my parents to sign off on my emancipation or can only one sign and if only one has to sign does it have to the guardian that has full custody of me or can I have my other parent sign off because in my situation my mother has full custody of me and my father does not but my mother would never sign off on this but my father will. Do I need her to sign it off because she has full custody me?

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 commented
      Editing a comment
      It sounds like you are interested in emancipation. We are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not unfortunately. Laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18. Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. The court will also factor in the mental and physical welfare of your parents in order to establish your best interest. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. Once you are emancipated, you can legally choose where you live, but you might still find that you cannot sign a lease or build credit until you turn 18. The emancipation process can take several months or up to a year, and may cost money in the form of court fees and other expenses. Usually, the best way to learn about emancipation in your state is to contact a lawyer. You may also find information at your county family court. We can look up legal aid resources that may be able to help you with the process. Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you have questions, need legal resources, or need to talk. We can explore your situation, go over all your options, and come up with a plan and resources to deal with your situation over the phone or on live chat. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.

  • Hi I’m alexa, well I’m 15 years old from Pennsylvania. I want to move out of my grandparents house and move with my sister in Florida. I got told to kill myself 2 times they had me in a depressed state and I just hate living here. I don’t know what to do or anything. I just kinda wanna move now and be done with it. I did my grandparents ( my legal guardian ) if I can move to Florida and they said yes but now it seems they don’t want that. I hear conversations saying they don’t want me too move but they never say anything. So I want to take things into my own hands and try to move to my sisters.
    i just don’t know what to 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. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. From gathering information about your story please know we are here to listen and help make a plan for you to follow through. 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).
      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

  • I am currently 15 and I’ve already been through so much with my family, and I’m sick and tired of the constant negligence and abuse from my parents. I heard that if you are 16 you can move out without parent consent, I would like to know if that’s true. Also what happens if I do? Could I be forced to go back? Are they allowed to touch me? (I live in New Jersey btw I don’t know if the law is different here)

    Another thing I heard is that at the age of 16 you can leave your house without consent (I’m guessing to just go out and return) the thing is my parents constantly threaten to call the cops and get me arrested if I try to leave. Is that even a thing? Could I, along with any of my friends be arrested for going out EVEN if my parents know where I am??

    At at this point I feel like running away would be my best bet but I don’t know.

    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

  • Hello, I am 15 turning 16 in February. I live with my mom most of the week and I'm with my dad on weekends. My mom is constantly yelling at me and my siblings, trying to take my phone when I feel like I need it for my personal safety because of things she has done in the past, I babysit my 6 younger siblings for 8 hours on average when I'm with my mom, I do maybe 6 hours of school every two weeks ("homeschool") and I suffer depression and anxiety when I'm at her house. I would love to move out asap, hopefully the day I turn 16. What are the state of Washington's rules on leaving and staying with a friend or something until I'm 18? Please help. Thank you!

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,

      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear about what you’re experiencing at home with your mom. You deserve to feel safe and to be able to prioritize your schoolwork. It’s understandable that you don’t want to continue living with her, especially given your mental health.

      In the state of Washington, like most others, the age of majority is 18. This means that if you leave home before then and stay with someone who is not your legal guardian, you are considered a runaway. Running away is a status offense, which means it is illegal under a certain age but would not result in you being arrested or having a criminal record. You would have to return home if the police find you, though. That being said, the friend you stay with could get in trouble for knowingly harboring a runaway.

      You also mentioned your dad, who you stay with on the weekends. It may be possible to talk to him about your parents’ custody agreement and whether you could go to court to appeal for staying with him most or all of the time.

      Finally, if you would like to talk to someone about the depression and anxiety you are experiencing, a school counselor or therapist may be a good option. You can also reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) by calling 1-800-950-NAMI, texting NAMI to 741741, or going to www.nami.org.

      If you do decide to leave home, have more questions, or need further help, please call us anytime at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929), or chat with us online at www.1800runaway.org. We are always here for you and want to make sure you stay safe. Best of luck with everything.

  • I am currently 16 years old and I’m really thinking about leaving home. I’m being emotionally abused constantly and I have no freedom whatsoever. I get treated unfairly and I’m currently struggling to live with them. I don’t have a job right now but that’s only because my mother won’t let me get one. I do have my learners and a place to stay if I need one. If I left home to live with someone and I didn’t tell them can I get in trouble, I live in West Virginia. Ive never been in trouble at school and I plan to graduate and go to college. I’ve tried leaving home serval times as well!

    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

  • Hi. I’m 16 in Wisconsin, and am considering leaving. I found an article that states I can leave home at 16 if I’m not in any danger. Is that accurate?

    Comment


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi we can assist you, it sounds like you’re interested in moving out. These are very big steps that you’re taking at such a young age. When it comes to moving out from your parents you need some consent from your parents, but it’s really smart of you to start thinking about this. At age of 16 you are still considered a minor, and your parents could make a runaway report if you decide to move out. Emancipation is an option but is within Wisconsin it differs to case to case. You would have to contact your local legal service so if your case is even worth pursuing. If you still need resources you call us at 1-800runaway, we are 24-7 so we will happy to answer any lingering questions.

  • Hey, I'm a 16 year old living in Washington state, and I've been trying to figure out if I can move out of the house that I share with my mother and sister, and live at my friends house without her consent.

    My mother is far from how a mother should act, growing up I was abused by her, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Even for a few years she had an abusive boyfriend so badly that my siblings and I had to go to CPS.

    I asked my friend and her mother if I could move in, and they're both okay with it. Their idea is to just have me grab my stuff from home and basically never come back. I'm worried about having the police called on me and my mom's reaction.

    Comment


    • 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, you deserve to live somewhere where you feel safe and secure. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. 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. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned to your mom. It’s great to hear that your friend and her mother are so supportive. If you go to stay at their house without prior permission from your mom, she could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties for harboring a runaway vary from state to state, police officer to officer, and how your mom views the situation.

      You mentioned some things that raise concern for your safety and well-being. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused. 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/ or you or you may want to reach out to your former CPS caseworker. 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.

      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
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