Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Child Custody for Oregon

Q: Im 15 almost 16. I have recorded my Mom saying I Hate you and to leave. Will I get in trouble by the cops if I go move?

1 Lawyer Answer
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Well for starters, you haven't clearly expressed what is going on. We know you are a minor. You recorded your mom saying she hates you and she wants you to leave - which was probably during the heat of some argument. I don't think anyone would take that as a final statement of your mother's that she wants to kick you out of the house. The rest of your statement as to do with you moving - so I am going to guess you mean that you want to run away from your home. Since you are not a legal adult you can't just make a decision to move. As for what the police will do - I can't predict that. You won't get arrested unless you commit a crime and running away from home isn't a crime that will get your arrested. It is however something that could lead your mother to call the police and they could pick you up and detain you and then return you to your mother. Or you could be turned in to the juvenile court system to deal with and that could mean placing you with another relative or in a foster home. The police and the juvenile court have a lot of discretion when it comes to dealing with juveniles.

The bottom line is you are not an adult and you are not equipped or prepared to take on the adult world without guidance and support from a stable adult. I don't know if your mother, outside of arguments with you, provides you with a stable home, but I would hope so. Every single your adult your age wants to rebel and run away from home at some point. It is a normal part of growing up and dealing with a rebellious teenager will drive any parent crazy. But actually running away from home is probably the dumbest thing you could ever do and it may just ruin the rest of your life. The odds of you finishing school and becoming a stable adult with a good job go down extremely when you lose a stable home environment.

If I were you, I would want to survive and have a good life and above all finish school. I would buckle down and figure out a way to co-exist with my mother for two more years - because in two years you will be 18. Honestly, if you can't make your relationship work with your mother for two years, you are going to fail miserable trying to survive in the world with all the other people you will have to deal with who won't care about you like your mom. This is your first adult challenge. Try to succeed.

As for the day to day arguments that you and your mom have as you flex your adulthood and try to be more independent, I would find another adult who you respect, maybe a relative or a counselor, or an athletic coach at your school, or a minister, and call them and talk to them about how you feel and what you think is or isn't fair, before you blow up at your mom. Maybe getting the perspective of a neutral outsider will help you see your situation more objectively and will diffuse some of the arguments before they happen.

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