Sacramento, CA asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for California

Q: Runway Law

I have a question about runway law and how the law treats minors who have ran away. What if they ran away because of abusive (or perceived abuse) and that's why they don't want to go home. What resources do they have in a situation like this

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1 Lawyer Answer
Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Availability of resources for a minor who has run away is not really a legal question, but see below at the end of this response. In certain situations a minor can petition the court for what is called "emancipation" so he she can be free from parental control.

Here is a good starting point on emancipation law: It is from the California court system website.

Another possibility is for the minor to find a sympathetic adult who petitions the court to be the guardian of the child. This way the guardian would take over the duties of the parent.

Here is another starting point on guardianship law. It is also from the California court system website,guardian%20of%20the%20child's%20estate.

As you probably already know, if someone reports child abuse, the Department of Child and Family Services could intervene, take the child away from the parents and the matter could be referred to juvenile dependency court. That court can also set up a guardianship over the child. See the link to Guide to Dependency Court here:

You asked a rather broad question. You may know all this already. I realize this is not a complete answer to your question. You also asked about resources. You may want to contact organizations like the National Runaway Safeline for resources: I have no connection to them.

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