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how to legally have my dad take custody of me?

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  • how to legally have my dad take custody of me?

    hi! i'm fifteen, and my home situation is really affecting me mentally. i'm constantly put down by them, they've called the police on me for things that they KNOW have to do with my autism (i.e meltdowns, sensory overload, etc), they take away things to use as leverage to get me to do things they want (which i've seen some say can be classified as abuse but i don't know for sure?), i haven't seen my friends in months aside from during school because my mom refuses to let me do anything, and i want to move in with my dad, but i have no idea how to do this. i've gotten tips from my older brother, who my dad has custody of, and that i should go to the principal of my school to talk about it but it confuses me? i just want to get out of here, my mom has pushed me mentally to the point where my only options if this isn't possible are running away or, sadly, taking my life. please help.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). It takes a lot of bravery to reach out, and we appreciate your ability to share what you're going through. We are here to support you. It sounds like there is a lot that you are faced with right now, and that you feel like it is effecting you mentally. It seems as though you want a little more guidance on how your dad could have custody of you.

    You mentioned that your brother has been giving you tips on what to do, it sounds as though you are open to suggestion and willing to talk to others. That takes a lot of courage. It may be helpful to talk to your principal — they are able to offer support inside and outside of school. You may also want to consider talking to your dad if you haven’t already. He may be able to talk to your mom or a lawyer that can help him gain custody. If your parents are unable to agree on custody agreements, the court is able to decide for them, and they will consider specific factors about your home life.

    You mentioned that think you have been experiencing some abuse at home. you do not deserve to be treated this way, and it is your parents’ responsibility to keep you safe. If you would consider it, or would like to see what classifies as abuse, this is a resource that may help you find a possible solution: (

    It is important to have an understanding of what leaving your home may look like. You may want to consider if you have a safe place to stay, what people are in your support system, and what your parents may do. Since the legal age that a youth is permitted to leave home in generally 18, there is a possibility that your parents may file a runaway report, 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.

    You also mentioned your struggles with your mental health. It may be important to work through this before making other big decisions. You may want to think about who you can reach out to, or what resources you can contact if you aren’t ready to talk to someone in person. NAMI is a resource that can provide you with some mental health support. If you would like to do so, you can text “connect” to 741741 to communicate with a crisis counselor 24/7.

    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); (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 and stay strong,

    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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