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  • moving out at 17 (pa)

    I'm seventeen and I live in Pennsylvania.. I really hope you can help me.
    This is pretty much the main situation:
    My living situation isn't the greatest.. (I live with my parents). I've gone to CPS with bruises on me and pictures as proof, and every time they've taken my information and not done anything. I have four months until I'm 18. I know that I could wait until it's legal.. but I can't stay here anymore.

    And lots of questions / more information.

    - I graduated high school already and I've taken a few college classes. (summer break at the moment) I'm not sure if that means I'm emancipated- I've heard that once you graduate high school you are, but I'm not sure if it's true.
    - My boyfriend is 30 and if I left, he would be with me.. so what would happen to him if we got caught while I was still underage? We're planning on leaving the state, so is there anything that changes with that?
    - If my parents list me as a runaway, once I turn 18, will I be listed as a missing person? And after I turn 18, do I need to worry about any legal trouble from running away?

    That's all I can think of at the moment. Thank you so much!

  • #2
    Re: moving out at 17 (pa)

    We are sorry to hear that things aren’t so great at home and that CPS keeps sending you back. It takes a lot of courage to talk about things and we are glad that you contacted us during this time. We aren’t legally trained here so we can only give you general answers to your questions but we can also try to point you in the right direction with resources.

    Congratulations on your graduation from high school! This can be a tough and scary time for you. Now, from our general understanding, you are not emancipated after graduating high school. To become emancipated, you must file a petition with the courts and they make a decision based on your age, ability to care for yourself, marital status and desire to live separately from your parents. While this may sound ideal to you, it is a very long process and would not be finished before you turned 18. At that time, you would be considered a legal adult. If you have more specific questions about emancipation, there are a few places you can contact in PA. One of them is called Youth Advocate; their number is 814-849-1237 and they are available Monday-Friday, 9-5. Another one is called Legal Services, Inc; their number is 717-243-9400 and they are available 8:30-4:30 Monday-Friday.

    Since you are still a minor, your boyfriend may get into some trouble for leaving with you. If your parents find out, they may have the option of charging him with harboring a runaway or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The police may also have this option if they catch the two of you together. Also, if you do leave the state with him, there is the possibility that he could be charged with taking a minor across state lines. The specific laws vary from state to state so you may want to contact your local police department for specific answers, you may be able to do so anonymously.

    Again, generally speaking, once you turn 18, you can’t be filed as a runaway. Running away is considered a status offense, which means that it’s considered illegal for minors. From our knowledge, you can only get into trouble for running away if you perform an illegal act while running (i.e. theft, breaking and entering). It is the same once you would turn 18. Again, we aren’t legally trained but we think that your parents would have to file a missing persons report; a runaway report would not automatically become one. Your local police department or the legal aid numbers above would have the specific answers for you.

    From what you wrote, it seems like have a tough decision ahead of you and that you are putting a lot of thought into it. Remember, we are a 24 hour, 7 day a week crisis line so if you need any further assistance, please call us. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY and we are a confidential and anonymous hotline. Good luck with everything !

    ~NRS
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: moving out at 17 (pa)

      Thank you for all the information

      I have one more, but I'm not really sure if you guys would know for sure. I have a car that I paid for half of, but my dad's name is on the title. I know that taking it obviously isn't happening, but can I get in trouble for stealing it if I just leave it in a parking lot or something? I just want to use it to get to the bus station really.. but car theft is not in my plans.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: moving out at 17 (pa)

        Hey,

        We're not quite sure but from the sound of it, it might be considered theft. Is there a way you can let someone know that you DID borrow it and where it will be? If you paid for half of it, you might be entitled to some rights but as you mentioned, the title is in the name of someone else.

        Not too sure on this one.

        Best of luck and thanks for reaching out. If you need anything, please give us a call at 1800RUNAWAY 24hrs a day.

        -NRS
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: moving out at 17 (pa)

          I am 17 years old and will be 18 in Jan and I'm also in the foster care system living with a family that is supported to be adopting me. I was wondering if i could leave the house and just be on my own maybe stay with my boyfriend? He graduated high school in 2016 lives with him mom but I'm not sure if that is allowed. Like if my parents called the police would i get in trouble for running away or being my age can they not do anything and I also have to remind you I'm in foster Care.

          Comment


          • #6
            17 And i want to move in with my boyfriend

            Hello,
            I have a question. I am 17 years old and a junior in high school my mom get on my nerves all the time. My boyfriend is 19 years old and my mom won’t let us hang out as we would like. So I have an idea I want to move in with his mom and him. Would I legally be allowed to do this?

            Comment


            • #7
              Reply: 17 And i want to move in with my boyfriend

              Hello,
              Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

              In most states the legal age to be considered an adult and to legally move out of your parent or guardians home is eighteen.
              If you would like to know more about the state law in when you can legally leave home without being considered a runaway contact the non-emergency number of your local police department.

              NRS is here to listen and here to help. Please contact 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.1800Runaway.org if you would like speak more about your situation.

              Take Care,
              NRS
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm 17 and I live in PA and my parents want to move to Portland but I wanna stay back because next year is my senior year and my girlfriends heart will be crushed. Is it ok if I runaway to my grandmas at age 17 would I be in trouble if I got caught? Would I be sent home? Am I allowed to to say no since my parents wanna move and I don't ?

                Comment


                • ccsmod6
                  ccsmod6 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thank you for writing to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. Moving cross country can be a big change and can bring up a lot of emotions. You mentioned wanting to stay in Pennsylvania and live with your grandma- have you mentioned this idea to your parents? Due to your age (17), your parents are considered your legal guardians, and are in control of your living arrangements. Although running away is not considered a crime, if you were to leave home without their permission, there is the chance that they could file a runaway report. That would mean if you were to encounter law enforcement, they most likely would be required to return you to your legal guardian/parents. Sometimes police departments do not take runaway reports for 17 year olds though, so you can always call out to your police department and see whether or not they would accept a runaway report for a 17 year old. It sounds like you have a lot going on, and we want you to know that we are here for you 27/4. You can always give us a call and we can explore options, or just listen.
                  Take care,
                  NRS

              • #9
                Im 17 and I wanna move my boyfriends, my birthday is in 4 months would I just beable to leave now?

                Comment


                • ccsmod6
                  ccsmod6 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hi,
                  Thanks so much for reaching out. Thank you so much for reaching out to us. Although we don’t know what state you are writing from, in most states you would be considered a minor until you turned 18 in 4 months. If you decided to go to your boyfriend’s without your parents’ permission, you would be considered a runaway. Running away is not illegal, but if you “ran away” and your parents decided to file a runaway report, if the police found you they could force you to go back to your parents. However, with your parents’ permission you could stay where you are, or once you turned 18.
                  If you think your parents would be open to giving you permission but don’t feel comfortable talking to them by yourself, we have the option of conference calling them. If you wanted, you could call us, and then we could reach out to your parents and act as a moderator so you would not have to talk to them alone. It is also totally understandable if you don’t want to pursue this option.
                  If you want to talk about more options or lok for the specific laws in your state, please call us anytime at 1-800-786-2929. We are here 24/7, to listen and to help.
                  NRS

              • #10
                Hi i hope you can help me too. My mother is very controlling and wont let me move out because she feels im not "mentally stable enough" but is there anyway i can move out now in the state of pennsylvania? Im tired of living in such a toxic home. Im 17 and graduated high school in june. Ill be 18 in may. But i wanna get out now. Im tired of waiting.

                Comment


                • ccsmod16
                  ccsmod16 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hi,

                  Thanks for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to hear you’re living in a toxic environment. It sounds like your mother is very hard on you and it’s perfectly understandable that you’d want to get out of that situation ASAP.

                  In the state of Pennsylvania, you aren’t considered a legal adult until you turn eighteen. While a few months may seem like a long time, the process of emancipation or finding an alternative living arrangement might take even longer and still require parental consent. As you have read in our many post, emancipation is a long process that can take a few months since it does go through the court system. In the meantime, it’s important that you take care of yourself and find support wherever possible. Your school may have a counselor on staff you can talk to about what’s going on at home. Also, feel free to call us at any time so you can talk with one of our liners about your situation. We’re more than willing to listen and help out in any way we can.

                  Thanks again for reaching out and the best of luck to you.

              • #11
                Hi I was wondering if you leave home at 17 can your Guardian call the cops and make u come back home even if u done with school and have somewhere to go

                Comment


                • #12
                  Hi there,

                  We are not legal experts but generally speaking, if you leave while still 17, your parents could file a runaway report and you could be returned home, even if you've finished school or have somewhere to go. There could also be legal consequences for whomever you stay with for what is called harboring a minor. One thing you can do is reach out to your local police to inquire how they handle runaway reports for 17 year olds. Some cities and departments treat them differently because a 17 year old is so close to becoming a legal adult. The way to get the most accurate information would be to call your local police non-emergency number and anonymously inquire about their practices. If you need help finding this number or you want to walk through your options with a liner, we can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

                  Best,

                  NRS
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    My family is really getting on my nerves. My boyfriend mom said I can stay here for a while if i didn't want to go home. My

                    Comment


                    • 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. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like staying at your boyfriend's house 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, and so his mom could get in trouble for allowing you to stay there. 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

                  • #14
                    I live in warren pa and my girlfriend who is 17 wants too move in with me bc things are going really tough at her house I am 18 would she be able to move in with me even tho she is 17 I'd really like any help in makeing it possible if it is possible

                    Comment


                    • ccsmod15
                      ccsmod15 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hey there. We are sorry things are rough at home for your girlfriend right now. Please share our number with her if she ever wants to talk (or you can call us anytime as well, of course): 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are here 24/7 and are confidential.

                      As to your question: The age of majority in Pennsylvania is 18, so that means if she leaves home at 17 without permission her parents/guardians can file a runaway report on her. Running away isn't a crime, but it is a status offense like breaking curfew. Perhaps more seriously, if a report is filed you (or anyone else she stays with) could be accused of "harboring a runaway" which is a misdemeanor. Of course, no one can say for sure what might happen, but these are possibilities. If she has permission to leave home, however, she would not be considered a runaway.

                      Keep in mind we aren't legal experts, but we can tell you that the age of consent (to sex) in Pennsylvania is 16. So it doesn't appear as if your relationship would necessarily be a legal problem once you turn 18. But if you'd like to get more legal advice on this, or any other, matter, you may want to contact one of the following agencies with your questions:

                      Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network: www.palegalaid.net; 1-717-236-9486
                      Juvenile Law Center: www.jlc.org; 1-800-875-8887

                      We hope this information helps. Again, please feel free to call us anytime at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us via the chat portal at www.1800runaway.org

                      Good luck to you and your girlfriend. Stay safe!

                      NRS
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