If a juvenile runs away at age 17, just a couple months before their birthday, what legal actions are taken?

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If a juvenile runs away at age 17, just a couple months before their birthday, what legal actions are taken?

Asked on June 27, 2015 under Family Law, Nebraska

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Even if you are just a few months from turning 18, you cannot move out of you parents' home without their permission until you actually reach 18, the "age of majority" ( i.e. adulthood). Until  that time, your parents are responsible for you. So if you runaway they can have the police bring you back.


That having been said, if they do not provide reasonable support and/or maintain regular contact, their actions may be deemed abandonment and you could be legally removed from their home.


Otherwise, if you want to move out now, you would have to become "emancipated". This means that you would assume most of the responsibilities of an adult. However in order to get emancipated, you would have to appear before a judge and convince them that you can live independently (basically that you can support yourself and have an acceptable place to live, etc.).


The fact is that to legally leave at this point, anything that you would need to do will take time. Chances are that you will turn 18 before then. So has impossible as it may feel now, if you hang in there a few months, you be able to leave without worrying about what your parents might do to bring you back.


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