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

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  • ccsmod3
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you want to know the consequences if you leave home without permission.18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.

  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello,

    Thanks for taking the time to write us here at NRS. It can certainly be stressful at home when the adults in the household are not supportive. It is not okay that your mom talks down to you like that. You deserve to be treated in a way that makes you feel supported and cared for. Your mental health is important and it can exhausting to navigate that on your own. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you with figuring out your next steps in this difficult situation. Asking for help was really responsible and smart of you. Leaving home can definitely be easier when you are more independent and able to work for your own money.

    Generally speaking, your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18, so they can decide where you live. If you do choose to leave without permission, your mom can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that if your mom know where you are staying then she can have the police return you home.

    The easiest way to leave home as a minor is with your parents’ permission. In this case, your mom would be allowing you to live somewhere else where you are safe and being cared for. A helpful step is to start reaching out to friends and family members you might be able to stay with. Sometimes having an adult on your side to advocate for you can make communicating your needs more effective. Perhaps an adult family member, a friend's parent or a counselor at school can talk to your mom with you about your experience at home and the possibility of you leaving.

    We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I'm a 16 year old living in Georgia. I have a good home life other than the fact that I feel like I'm unable to do anything. My parents don't give me any freedom, and they won't let me go out with my boyfriend. It has just been wearing on me emotionally, and I can't continue to feel trapped until I turn 18. I don't plan to move out, but I had the idea of just respectfully telling my parents that I'm going out, even if they disapprove. I know that they will take all of my things away such as my phone, but I can deal with that. I just want to know all of the facts on the legal side of things before I act on anything because once I do this there is no going back. So my question is, if I told my parents that I'm going out and I leave for a couple hours then return, what can they do? Could they call the police? Could they physically hold me in my house? Could they lock me in my room? I'm just so scared to stand up for myself but I feel that if I do, after the initial stress of it all, that I will be much happier.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Im 15 and i live in georgia with only my mom. She yells at me all of the time and constantly tells me how she doesn’t care about me or love me. I have a list of mental illness because of her and i don’t sneak out or party like most troubled teens. I want to move out and get a job as soon as I can, but I can’t drive without a parent in the car and I’m not old enough to get a good paying job yet. I’m waiting until I’m 16 to finally get out of this house, but i am not sure if my mom will consent or not. She tends to make my life 10x worse, so could I get some advice on what I should do please.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod2
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello There,
    Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like your god son may be neglected which you or him can make a report. You can make a report by calling Child Help at: 1800-422-4453. If your god son is in immediate danger you or him can always call the local police department.
    We are not legal experts but if your god son was to leave home without his legal guardian’s permission they do have the right to file a runaway report. If the police do find him they most likely would bring him home. Because you mentioned neglect the police would most likely do an investigation.
    We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options, please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support. Best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'm t he god-father of the teen who needs to run away and wants to as well . they are not providing him TLC he is act a 5th grade level 16 of age in the 10th grade we want to know can he leave the house by those circumstances ?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod2
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello There,
    Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like you are going through a lot.
    We are not legal experts but if you were to leave home without permission your legal guardian coukld file a runaway report even if it’s only for 48 hours. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home.
    We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support. Best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can you leave your house for 48 hours with out your parents knowing in NY at the age of 16

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod3
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you want information about the consequences of running away if you are under 18. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth. You can also call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) if you need to talk.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hello, i am 15 years old and i turn 16 in seven months. i really hate living with my parents as i feel like i am living in a jail cell with no rights over my own decisions. i am a full time student and have very few friends because my parents only let me talk to certain people. i would like to move out when i am a few months into my 16th year. i have many places i could stay and i understand that the people i may live with can get in trouble for harboring a runaway. however i am very desperate as i feel like i lack social skills and often feel very alone. i would like to know if there is a way that i could leave and not get my roommates in trouble. and also if it is legal to move out of my house at 16. i live in idaho.

    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. 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

    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
    Can I leave home seen that only 2 months be for I trun 16 can I leave now if I cant hand my mom house amd my dad's can I leave at 15 seen I'm all most 16 in 2 months

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod10
    commented on Guest's reply
    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 there’s another family member, relative, 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 not legal experts so we would not be able to say how the text messages would effect the police decision if they found you.

    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'm not sure how this works, but I thought I could give this a try. I'm 17 and from Utah. I'm currently trying to leave my mom's house and mobe in with my aunt. All my mom and I do is fight. I have a long rexr message from her stating that if I left she wouldnt care, and I was wondering, if I ledt to my aunt's and my mom called me in as a runaway, if I could use the text in my defense. I was also wondering if because I'm with family, the police couldn't do anything, right?

    Thank you for helping me in any way that you can! I really appreciate it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello, thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time.

    Although we are not legal experts, technically it’s not against law for you to leave home without your parent’s consent before the age of 18. However, anyone you would be staying with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’. It might be a good idea to ask them if they are willing to take this risk for you.

    We are here for you 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY(A786-2929) to help you go over options.

    Best of luck and we hope to hear from you soon.

    -NRS
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