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Moving out at 17

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  • Moving out at 17

    So my girlfriend and I have been planning a move-in for my last year of high school. At the time of the move-in, she will be 18 so she can apply for our apartment and the utilities in her name, and all I should have to do is pitch in for rent and any other bills/expenses we may need to assess. My main concern is the legality of the move. Would it be okay for me to move out as long as I have explicated permission from my parental unit? I understand that I would still remain under my mother's guardianship until I'm 18 so it wouldn't be technically moving out, more of a prolonged sleep-over in legal terms.

  • #2
    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. While we’re not legal experts, we’ll give you the information that we have, based on our understanding of the law and your situation. It sounds like your parent/guardian is supportive of you living with your girlfriend, which is great if that’s the case.
    It would seem that if you’re not on the lease, and your parent/guardian is giving you their permission, you’d just be staying at your girlfriend’s apartment for an extended period, your legal residence would still be with your parent/guardian. As long as your guardian does not file a runaway report, and you continue to attend school, there would likely not be any reason that the authorities would be looking for you in order to return you to your parent/guardian.
    If the situation were different and your parent/guardian was not okay with you staying with your girlfriend, then a runaway report could be filed by your parent/guardian. In that case the police could find and bring you back to your guardian’s home. A minor that is brought home on a runaway report usually doesn’t face major legal repercussions, however, there may be some legal repercussions for your girlfriend (such as harboring a runaway).
    Again, we’re not legal experts, but if you were to reach out to our hotline or live chat, we may be able to connect you with a general legal aid in your area that can give more concrete answers. It sounds like you’ve thought a lot about this, and based on your post it seems like all parties are on the same page, however if you have any other questions, you can always reach us 24/7 via hotline (1-800-Runaway) or live chat (
    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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