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

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2015

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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


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

Answered 7 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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