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Can my parents stop me from moving out?

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  • Can my parents stop me from moving out?

    In a few days, I’ll be turning 18 and am wanting to move out of my parents house and into my girlfriend’s place. I’m working in a family managed business with my mom and her boyfriend and even my little brother of 9 years old is helping out. I feel like I’m being overworked and they are super controlling of me. My mom’s boyfriend, Josh, is emotionally and verbally abusive of me and i don't want to stay with them anymore. I was born in Thailand but am currently living in Tennessee. My green card is expired and my ssc was stolen from me a few months back. I was wondering if it’s legal for me to still move out at 18 and are my parents legally allowed to stop me from doing so and withhold my documents?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We recognize the courage and strength that it takes to reach out during times like these and we appreciate you coming to us for support. It sounds like you will be 18 in a few days and are concerned about your parents withholding documentation of yours. Please know that we are not legal experts, but it is to our knowledge that in the United States, once an individual is 18, their parents/guardians are no longer legally responsible for them. Therefore, your parents would not legally be able to prevent you from moving out, nor would they legally be able to withhold any documentation of yours.

    It sounds like there are quite a few obstacles you are facing, and we would be happy to provide further and more direct support for you through our online chat portal, found on our website at or you may give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY if you would like to talk a little more in-depth about the situation, that way we can brainstorm through any additional resources that may be able to provide support for you at this time.

    We wish you health, safety, and peace and we look forward to the opportunity to talk further with you.

    Kind regards,
    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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