Juneau, AK asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Alaska

Q: I wish to move away from home w/o parental permission, will i be able to do so without being brought home?

I am 17, employed, and going to school. My friends mother agreed to take me in, she is also employed with three children and plenty of room. What qualifications would the authorities need in order for me to live away from home? I am not emancipated or living away from home at the current moment nor do I want to leave before I know for sure that I will not be taken into custody or brought home.

1 Lawyer Answer
Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Licensed in Alaska

A: Generally, emancipation is the legal path that gives you the ability to do what you intend. It does require parental consent with some exceptions. There are a few alternatives, such as specific emancipation and guardianship. Alaska Youth Advocates has a handbook that goes through all the options:


The Bar Association also has an excellent Youth Law Guide, which covers many other topics that may be useful to you:


Aside from all that, at 17, your parents have limited tools to make you return home. They can report you as a runaway, and the police could return you home, but they can't make you stay there. It's also unlikely to be a priority for the police if you're in a safe place and aren't truant. If there has been abuse, the police are required to take you to a shelter if you request it.

With that in mind, the best alternative is to work out an agreement with your parents. If you have thought things through as carefully as your question seems to indicate, and you're doing well at school and work, you are in a strong bargaining position. If the conversation would be too difficult on your own, you could ask your parents to work with a trusted person from church, a mutual adult friend, or a professional mediator. Here's one place to look: http://www.alaskamediators.org/. Alaska Youth Advocates may also be able to refer you to a good person to help.

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