I am 17 and still live with my dad, i want to move out, he does not provide for my needs, he smokes weed, and i have a job. I dont want to wait for the emancipation process, can i just leave? i have plenty of places to go. Also i heard that if i leave then the police can only bring me back once. is this true?
Family Law Attorney
The short answer is that you are subject to the supervision and control of your parents until the day you turn 18. In NC, your dad could ask the police to find and return you any time and as often as you run away. He could even get a court order against you and anyone who lets you stay in their house. Hopefully your dad would not do these things - but under NC law he has the legal right.
How far off is your birthday? If it's more than a couple of months, emancipation might be your best option. You can find the forms online at the NC Courts web site: http://www.nccourts.org . Click on the word "Forms" and look for form AOC-J-900M (petition for emancipation). You can fill this out yourself and take it to the county courthouse. File it with the Family Court office or Clerk of Court (civil division). You also need form AOC-J-910M (summons), but the people in the office should be able to help you fill this out. Your dad gets 30 days to answer the court (if he wants to do so), and you should be able to get an order from the judge soon after the 30 days is up.
If you ask the court for emancipation, the main thing you need to show the court is that you are mature enough to handle yourself as an adult. This includes a stable living situation and a job that pays enough to handle your anticipated expenses. You need to mention why you want to leave (inadequate parental support and supervision), but you don't need to describe every detail.
Your easiest way out would be for you and your dad to talk and see if you can work out an agreement. If your mom is around, she may also have the legal right to help make decisions about where you live. It would help if you can talk with her, especially if living with your dad is the result of a custody order, or if your mom is paying child support. Good luck.