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Can my brother move out at 14

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  • Can my brother move out at 14

    Hi. I need some help. My brother is 14, and I haven't seen him in years. I just got him over for a visit for the first time in a decade. I have a very stable home with my grandma. I've lived with her since I was 5, though custody was never established. Me brother lives with my mom and other grandma. He doesn't like it and he is tired of the chaos and the physical and verbal fights that happen at home. The home environment is very dirty and he only has a couple of sets of clothes. Its awful and I want to get him out of there. However my mom has custody of him. Is there a legal way we can get him out? I am turning 18 in a few days. My mom is a drug user also and has been arrested for it. We're desperate here. If any more details are needed I can give them.

  • #2
    Hey there,

    Thanks for reaching out to us and sharing some of what's going on with you and your brother. We are sorry to hear he is living in such a toxic environment; it sounds unsafe and unsound in many ways. To get right to the point, here are a few options to consider:

    1) You -- or your brother -- could file an abuse report about what's going on with your state's Child Abuse Reporting hotline. You can also file an abuse report through Child Help ( at 1-800-422-4453. Please note that an abuse report can also include things like neglect, for instance a very dirty living environment, not enough adequate clothing, etc. The more detailed the report, the more likely it is that the authorities will respond adequately. Filing a report doesn't guarantee your brother will automatically be removed from home, but it can start a process that ends up with that outcome. It's possible that if he was removed from home, the state would place him in a safe relative's care -- perhaps you and your grandma. But we can't say for sure what exactly would happen.

    2) Perhaps in conjunction with above, you could contact a lawyer to see how you or your grandma might obtain custody of your younger brother. If you give us your state we can look to see what legal aid agencies we have in our database for you. Unfortunately, we aren't legal experts, but we can hopefully connect you with someone who can explain the process better and answer any legal questions you have.

    3) Another option would be to see if your mom would simply allow your brother to live with you and your grandma. Even if your mom retains custody, there's nothing preventing her from allowing him to live with a responsible adult on a long term basis.

    We hope this information helps. Again, if you'd like legal resources to deal with the situation or to make an abuse report through us the best thing would be to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us via the portal at

    Good luck to you and your brother. We are here for you both.

    Last edited by ccsmod15; 06-20-2020, 03:54 PM.
    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)


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