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Leaving home at 17 in Texas

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  • im 17 and live in texas and plan on leaving home but leaving a note or something telling my mom that I voluntarily left. if I leave state can she do anything? ill be 18 in about 7 months


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do.

      We’re not legal experts here at NRS but generally speaking, the legal age of majority (adulthood) in Texas is 18 which means that you would be considered a minor until then. If you do opt to leave your home your mom can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor.

      It’s important to consider all the possibilities that can occur if you leave home. You will need to plan out how you will cover basic necessities like travel, food, clothing, etc. If you have a place to go in mind, it’s good to see what the expectations of the living arrangement will be like; rules, the amount of time you’re allowed to stay, if you’re expected to contribute financially, etc. This can all influence your decision to leave.

      If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

      All the best,

  • Hi. I'm currently 17 and don't turn 18 until August. I am having a really hard time at home and have been for a very long time. My relationship with my parents has always been very rocky and they are forbidding me from ever talking to a friend of mine ever again. He is my only friend here and I rely on him a lot with my issues and vice versa. I've been thinking about running away as an option for years but never thought that I would ever actually do it because I am afraid of my parents. Now, sadly, I really want to. I'd be going to my friend's house, which is a safe place, and I'd be leaving a note saying where I'm going and that I left voluntarily. I don't have a job, but I do have some money saved up.

    What can my parents do legally if I do run away and what can I do legally if I choose to run away?

    Will the people I stay with get in trouble because of my decision?


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that your relationship with your parents have deteriorated to a point where you feel like you have to leave. It does not sound fair or understanding of them to stop you from talking to someone who is close to you ever again. Because you are a minor your parents dictate where you are allowed to live and are entitled to file a runaway report if you leave without their permission. If there is a runaway report out on you, the police can pick you up, notify your guardians, and then take you back home if they encounter you. Additionally, if the person you are staying with knows you are a runaway, your parents are entitled to press charges against them for harboring a runaway. While we are not legal experts, this is generally considered a misdemeanor offense. When you do turn 18, it is our understanding that you are entitled to live/go where you please. It might be a good idea to think about other ways to deal with what is going on at home right now or maybe spend the time until August preparing to leave so that your transition will be as smooth as possible. If you would like to talk in greater detail about your situation and about what other options there might be, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our 24/7 hotline 1-800-786-2929 or on chat at

      Take care,

  • Hey, I turn 17 in a month from today and was wondering if I could leave my house hold, I live in west texas. I have been having trouble with my parents and want to leave the house. I have tried talking to them, but they are not listening and keep hitting me. I want to go live with my boyfriend and his family. they said they would take me in, but I don’t want them to get in trouble if my parents call the police on them because my boyfriend is a lot older. He just turned 19 2 weeks ago and i won’t turn 17 until a month. I don’t want to stay at home anymore, because of me constantly getting hit and abused verbally. Can some one please tell what my options are or what will happen to my boyfriends family and if i leave ?


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been going through such a tough time, but we are here to support you and help you in any way we can.

      We want you to know that no one deserves to be abused, and you should not have to go through that. If you haven’t already, you could consider reporting the abuse you’ve been experiencing. If you want more information about abuse reporting or if you want to file a report, you could call Child Help at 1-800-422-4453 or you could call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online. We also want you to know that if you ever feel that you are in danger, you could call 911 for immediate help.

      We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your parents could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for having you stay there if your parents file a report and if your boyfriend’s family doesn’t cooperate with the police. Some police departments don’t accept runaway reports for 17 year olds, but the policies may vary by each department. You could consider calling your local nonemergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.

      If you haven’t already, you could consider reaching out to a trusted adult, relative, worker/teacher/counselor at your school for help and support. You could also consider talking again to your parents about how you’ve been feeling, or having someone else help you talk with them. Just so you’re aware, we have a conference calling service here where we could help mediate a conversation between you and your parents.

      There are also many resources that could help you with anything else you may need. If you want to talk more about what’s been going on, or if you would like more information about resources, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online.

      Again, thank you for contacting us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really hard time, but you’ve shown a lot of strength by working through these challenges and reaching out for help. If you ever need anything in the future, please feel free to call us or chat with us online. We’re always here to listen and here to help.
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