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I’m 16, is it legal for me to live somewhere else without parent consent?

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  • I’m 16, is it legal for me to live somewhere else without parent consent?

    Hi I’m 16.
    I’ll be turning 17 in a few months, I can’t stand living at home and I need to go live with a friend. Now, my mother is crazy and would find out where I am... Is it legal in New York to live somewhere else without parent consent? I wouldn’t want myself to go get sent back home or get introuble with the law, and I wouldn’t want my friend and her family who I would stay with to get into legal trouble either. What are my legal options? Do I have to wait until i’m 17? I’m getting a job so i’m not sure if this effects anything. I can’t wait until i’m 18 i’d rather it all happen now or soon. Thank you!
    P.S- this would be the laws for New York State please.

  • #2
    Hello there,
    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are here for you through these tough times you are facing, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding runaway or homeless youth.

    We understand that you are 16 years old, and in most states the age of majority is 18 years old. This means that someone under 18 is the responsibility of their parent or guardian. If you were to move out of your mom’s house without her permission she could make a runaway report. This is a report filed with your local police office that would allow the police to return you to your mother’s custody if you were to come in contact with them. We are not legal experts here at NRS but we would like to make you aware of possible outcomes.

    You may want to consider talking with your parents to arrange an alternative housing agreement. This means that your parents give their permission for you to live with your friend. This is something your parents would have to agree to considering you are 16. If your parents are in agreement with your move, then there would be no legal issue with you staying with your friend’s family. In regards to legal options, you may consider the emancipation process. Emancipation is a legal option for children who would like to be considered a legal adult outside of their parents care. This would mean that the law would consider you an adult and you wouldn’t need your parents’ permission. This process can take several months and would involve your parents as well. You could contact a local legal assistance program to get more information, or our hotline and we can give you a resource.

    If you would like more information regarding your situation we urge you to reach out to us on our 24/7 toll-free number at 1(800)-RUNAWAY. We can give you case specific information as well as resources to help you navigate this decision. Thank you again for reaching out and stay safe!

    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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