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To Sam

moving country

Hi im 16 years old turning 17 next month. ive got loads of issues going on at home and my parents are making me move to another country. ive begged not to move. i hate the country they are going to and dont want to leave my friends and family here. not long ago i was in a very dark place and i kmow moving houses will put me into a bad way as i dont like change. my mums bestfriend who i have known since i was born and have a very strong relationship with said i can move in with her however i know my parents will never agree to it. what can i do i dont want to move at all and want to stay and continue my A levels in college and aim to get a job

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Moving to a different country is a big step and one that you might not want to take. If you are younger you might not have much say in where you live. When you reach 16 there are some other options available to you, although they're not easy. You can move out and find somewhere else to live, even if your parents don't want that, but it's going to be very difficult to do.

Until you’re 16 years old, your parents get to decide where you live. You can't leave home when you're under 16 but your parents aren't allowed to kick you out either. Once you reach 16, things change a bit. You can leave home and, as long as you have somewhere safe to live, it's unlikely the police would try to force you back home. Being homeless doesn't always mean living on the streets. You can be considered homeless if there’s a possibility of having nowhere to live. For example, if you’re staying with a friend temporarily but have nowhere to go after that. If you feel it's in your best interests to stay in the UK and finish your studies then you can choose to do that. If you do, and your parents are still going to move abroad, then you would be considered homeless.

One of the things that makes living on your own at 16 so difficult is that you can't sign a contract until you’re 18. To rent a property you need to sign a lease which gives you rights over the property and sets out how much you will pay. Money is also difficult because without an income you'll find it difficult to pay rent or bills. It's unlikely any landlord would rent a property to someone who doesn't have an income.

You have a couple of options available to you. If your mum's friend is willing to have you stay with them, then your mum can't stop you doing that, unless she convinces her friend to change her mind. You would have to ask your mum’s friend what she’d expect in return for you staying there - like rent or money to help with bills. If she or your parents are willing to support you financially, then this is something you can do.

If this option doesn't work out then you can still stay in the UK, but you’ll need to find somewhere to live. You are considered homeless already if your parents are definitely leaving the country so you might be able to begin looking into your options. Try talking to your local council or the charity Shelter for more information on your rights and what you would be entitled to once you have nowhere to live.

In the meantime this is likely to be really stressful - make sure you're looking after yourself by talking to our counsellors and checking in with your feelings. It's scary to think about the big changes coming so be sure to take care of yourself.

I hope this has helped. Thanks for sharing,


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