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

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  • 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.
    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.
    We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    I live in Tennessee and I am unaware of my laws on leaving home as a minor. I actually very recently moved from my abusive mothers house, and have been living with my brother. I attend school as I am supposed to, I don’t do any substances, I make good grades, and graduate next year. I turned 17 recently, however I fear that when this new school year starts my mom is going to make me come home. However I left without asking, but she has not made the effort of bringing me back. I really don’t want to go back, I just can’t, I had the weight of the world on my shoulders living there. This abuse staRted close to 7 years ago. I don’t want anyone getting in trouble, should I just move back? I don’t know what to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod16
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there, we are so sorry to hear you’re going through such a challenging situation. Nobody deserves to be treated that way. Unfortunately, he could get in trouble even though you want to live with him. We know this is not the news you are looking to hear. In most states, the age of majority (where you are no longer a minor) is 18. If you were to leave home again, your parents could file a runaway report. This essentially tells the police that you have run away and they will try to locate you to bring you home. If you were with your boyfriend, he could potentially get in trouble for housing someone who has run away. One option you could consider is filing an abuse report, which we are able to assist with at NRS. This can be a lengthy process, though, and unfortunately, verbal abuse can be harder to prove, so you could still end up staying in your home.

    You still have some options (potentially even local ones for alternative housing) and here at NRS, we are happy to discuss them with you. We have a hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) to talk through options or you can chat with us on our website (https://www.1800runaway.org/). Both are available 24/7. In the meantime, we do want to offer up some other resources. In addition to our own line, some other organizations like crisistextline.org have a chatline and are used to talking with people going through very similar situations to your own. Also, if you are ever feeling unsafe at home, another organization (https://www.nationalsafeplace.org/) is available to assist with that as well potentially. Lastly, sometimes it can be helpful to discuss what you are going through with a friend or teacher. We hope everything works out for you, and do not hesitate to reach out!

    Best of luck,

    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    so im 16 years old and ill be 17 in october this year and i ran away from home because im getting verbably abused and my boyfriend is willing to take me in and hes 18 years old would he get in trouble for it or get arrested even though i want to live with him because i dont want to go back home i refuse to go back but i went back because i was scared he was going to get arrested if i didnt leave his home. what can do and can i stay with him if i want to

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod16
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi,
    Thanks for reaching out; we are glad that you did. It sounds like your friend is in a difficult situation. Court intervened, it sounds like, but circumstances changed again.
    In one paragraph, in a public forum, it is hard for us to be of assistance. Perhaps working with the original lawyer is an option. Your state's CPS may be an option. Until your friend is 18 in VA, unless CPS or a court says otherwise, mom has custody rights since that's where the youth was placed.
    We do work best with the people involved, so we hope your friend will chat us through this website, or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) so that we can support her and talk over the situation with her.
    We truly hope to hear from her soon.
    Sincerely,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    I have a friend who is 16 about to turn 17. She is in a extremely abusive situation and i got her out and she’s been living with me for 6 months. Her mom just now took her back. If she runs away again and she gets caught what will happen. She has a job, her permit, and even pays rent. More mature than 99% of the people I know. We’re located in va. We’ve been through court and everything her dad got custody but he just got a charge so they came and got her

    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.
    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.
    We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button). If you would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    hey there i want to move in with my birth mom but i am stuck with my aunt and uncle who hit me with stuff and i am being told i cant move with my mom because she isn't on my birth certificate and i want to leave but i am only 15 and i have no money to go to court what do i do? please help

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    replied
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us at National Runaway Safeline and trusting us to answer these questions for you. We recognize that it takes a great deal of courage to seek help and it takes strength to identify the need for change. We are sorry to hear about the struggles you are experiencing at home. You don't deserve to feel barricaded inside and without communication with others. It is certainly an accomplishment that you are on track to attend college earlier than normal! Congratulations. It sounds like you will need a stable environment to live in for this to remain attainable, but you are looking to go somewhere other than where you are currently at.

    First and foremost, regarding your question on if it is possible to move out at 16, typically the law recognizes 18 as a legal adult. That will be something to consider in the process of trying to leave, especially right now at age 14. It sounds like you made plans with friends for when you all turn 16, which is great that you have people in your circle that are there for you and may even understand what you are going through. However, it may be very difficult to find somebody to rent to a 16 year old / anyone under the age of 18. We understand that may not be the answer you are looking for, and please know that CPS or the police are always an option and we empower you to prioritize those points of contact if you ever find yourself in immediate danger. I think in the meantime, some important things to consider may be finding ways to make and save money. With the consideration that you are 14, it may be hard or not possible to find a job at the moment. However, by 16, you should be able to find places that will hire you for work. This would give you the opportunity to save up money that by the time you are 18, you will be able to comfortably support yourself.

    It sounds like you are thriving academically and that you have great friends. Some other options that may be helpful looking into would be to talk to a school counselor about your experiences at home, or if you are not already in therapy services and may be interested in them, that could be something to look into that might work as an emotional outlet to be able to talk to somebody and work through a solid plan that will be useful and effective for you and your situation.

    If you would like to talk further and more in-depth about what's going on, we are glad to chat with you through our online chat portal, which you can find directly on our website in the top, right-hand corner. You may also contact us via telephone at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Please note that our services are confidential and we operate on a 24-hour basis. Thank you again for confiding in us about your situation and we look forward to the opportunity to talk with you further.

    Stay safe,
    NRS

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Hello so I am currently 14 but I am saving up so that once I turn 16 I can move out. I am currently living in a household where my father is an alcoholic and my mother is never home. I would not be able to get my parents permission. I am not allowed to see my girlfriend and I am not allowed to even leave my house and at least once a week my phone gets taken away and my father blocks everyone that I talk to. I can’t keep living like this with my family so I might even have to see if I could get out even sooner. I am currently on track to go to early college so I will have my high school degree and associates by the time that I turn 18 but I won’t be able to stay with them until then. I have plans with a few of my other friends that also want to move out at 16 for living conditions but I wouldn’t want to get them in trouble if my parents file a runaway report I am not sure how I should approach this. I know that if my parents do try and force me back I could report them to child services because they currently do violate a few laws and are causing me a unsafe situation for my living area but if it doesn’t actually work out then I don’t even want to think about what would happen. Is it possible for me to move out before I turn 16? And do you have any advice on how I should approach my situation?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline. It takes a lot of courage to reach out and share what has been going on. It sounds like home may be a stressful environment for you and has been taking a toll on your mental health and well-being. You do not deserve to experience abuse of any kind – especially by those who are supposed to take care of you.

    You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your parent or 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 dad and stepmom. 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. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. We can be reached via phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through online chat at www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

    Take care,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    I just turned 16 a couple days ago and my family is trying to move this week to Florida. I really don't want to go because 1 I hate being home and I never feel safe at home and 2 my dad still mentally abuses me. He used to abuse me in the past and I had CPS called but I was so scared that my dad would hit me no matter what so I never said anything. Last time I had CPS called on him I spoke up but my sister didn't cause she believes they can't do anything for us as my dad and stepmom said. My dad cares about his wife more than us and it really hurts and just the environment isn't good for me. I have called CPS on him yesterday but idk what's gonna happen. I want to live with my friend and her mom is okay with it but I just need to get away from him first so what will I need to prove I'm not lying?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there, thanks for reaching out to NRS. We’re really sorry to hear that you’re having such a tough time at home. Nobody deserves to be talked down to and made to feel unwelcome. While we are not legal experts, we can share a few things with you. You mentioned that you live in Tennessee and would potentially be in Alabama with your dad. In Tennessee, the age of majority (no longer considered a minor) is 18, and in Alabama it is 19, so unfortunately you would still be considered a minor. If you were to decide to run away from home (without consent from your parents), your parents could file a runaway report to have the police try to locate you.

    We know this might not be what you are looking to hear, but we are still here to help. It sounds like your mother may be verbally abusing you. One option you could consider is filing a report of the abuse. We cannot advise you on what decision you should make, but we can walk you through possible options. If you are interested in discussing this process and possible outcomes, you can always call 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or visit www.1800Runaway.org (live chat). NRS is able to coordinate conference calls directly with the child protective services agency in your county/state if you would like to report or we can file the report separately if you provide us the information. One thing to note is that unfortunately emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for and we cannot guarantee what your local Child Protective Services outcome may be. Another resource that you could consider is www.childhelp.org, which also has a call and text line for individuals who are going through difficult situations like your own. We hope everything works out for you and again, NRS is always available to chat or talk (via phone or link above).

    Best of luck,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    i’m 16 and my mother tells me that i’m crazy and that she’s going to take me to a shrink so they can tell me im crazy but im not crazy, I’ve just been talked down on my whole life and they treat me like nothing. I have 3 brothers and they start fights with me all the time (all in their early to late 20’s) and i get blamed for it i live in Tn but my mother will force me to go to alabama to stay with my dad at work if they fight me, but i just seriously want to get out of their house because it’s beating me down to stay their and i’m afraid if i don’t get out now i won’t ever get it. My mother is manipulative and lies to everybody to make me the bad guy so i’m all out of options i’ve reached out to family but none of them believe me because my mom tells them i’m a liar and i’m crazy.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello! Thank you for reaching out to the NRS!



    We're sorry to hear about your struggles at home. We hear you, you should not be treated that way at home by your family and you deserve to be somewhere that makes you feel wanted and safe.



    If you feel like you are in imminent danger, you should call 911 to report your situation. Regarding the dead tree, perhaps one option that you can pursue is seeing if your city or county has a tree trimming program. If such a department exists, their services are likely free and you can give them a call to get more information. You also mentioned that you are neglected and are on the receiving end of emotional abuse -- we hear you and this is also a serious issue. If you want to pursue filing a child abuse report or just want to learn more about the process, we can help you with that at the NRS if you call 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us at 1800runaway.org. Finally, if you feel as though are going through difficult emotions alone or just feel overwhelmed mentally, a great resource is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They have great support groups and chat lines there with people going through similar issues at https://www.nami.org.



    We wish you all the best and hope you will find these resources helpful. If you have more questions or just want to talk about your situation more with one of our representatives, once again, feel free to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us at 1800runaway.org.
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