Clemmons, NC asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for North Carolina

Q: I am 17 yrs old & I want to move out. I live in Thomasville NC. Can I leave without parental permission?

I am 17 and I’m tired of my living situation. I have previous work history and I have experience with paying bills. I pay my phone bill every month and 1/3 of our rent. I have my own car as well. I also buy my own clothes, hygiene needs, and food. Basically what I’m saying is I know how to take care of myself. I would like to leave home and say with my aunt or my boyfriend. In 2017 I was staying with my boyfriends family so if I couldn’t stay with my aunt I’d go back to their house but there is a 99% chance I’d go to my aunts. My question is would my aunt get in trouble if I was to ‘run away’ to her house? And if my mom was to willingly let me leave how could I get it documented in case she ever changed her mind so I wouldn’t be considered a runaway?

2 Lawyer Answers
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Highly unlikely that your aunt would get in trouble if you went to stay with her. What would potentially happen is that law enforcement personal could come to her house and direct you to return to your Mom's residence. As long as you did so, it is hard to imagine any sort of negative consequences for your aunt. Same analysis with the boyfriend.

But until you turn 18, or are formally emancipated, you don't have the right to choose where you are living.

Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: The answer to your question as asked is yes, you can leave without without parental consent but the answer to the question you likely intended to ask is no, you can not leave without parental consent without possible being forced back if your parents care that you left. Yes, your Aunt could get in trouble (but not really very likely) if you leave without parental consent and something in writing wouldn't matter unless it was an agreement between your parents and your Aunt or better yet - a court order. You could look into getting emancipated but since you are likely under a year away from turning 18 - there isn't really much benefit going through the time and expense to do that. Like it or not, you are still a child until you turn 18. So likely your best bet is to simply tough it out at your parents house until you turn 18 when you can put your theory that you know how to take care of yourself to the test. Best of luck.

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