Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Moving to Girlfriends House


I am a male, aged 15, and 16 in 5 months. I have a girlfriend which I think the world of, and I couldnt think of anyone better to spend my days with. Her mum says its okay that I can move in once I reach 16 (which is just after my school GCSE'S, which is great news), so it has been my dream to do this.

Knowing my parents, they wouldnt agree with this. They are strict, and they dont trust me, They take away everything, my phone, computer, even the time I spend with my girlfriend, all so I can try better at school. I disagree that this helps.

Would I be able to leave?

Do I need to sign contracts, or go to social service?

How difficult is it, can I just simply tell them I am walking out the door?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

At 16 you can chose to leave home without your parent’s consent, but this is a big decision to make so it’s important to think it through carefully.

You’ve spoken about your parents being strict and lots of young people find themselves arguing with their parents about what they are allowed to do. Often talking things through when you’re all feeling calm can be helpful. This can give everyone the chance to talk about their feelings and where the disagreements come from. You might find that if things are discussed this way your parents are more willing to compromise.

Moving away from home can feel like a good option when things are difficult, especially when you might have somewhere better to stay. However, living somewhere is very different to staying there and there are lots of things to think about before taking that step. You need to think about how you would provide for yourself financially and also about how this change could affect the relationships you have with people, like your family and the people you’re planning to move in with.

You’ve mentioned just telling them you are going. While this is something you could do, it’s worth considering how they are likely to react to this and what could happen. If your parents didn’t agree with this move and chose not to continue supporting you financially or emotionally this would be a very difficult situation for you to be in.

If you do decide that moving away is your best option, talking to them about how you feel and about what makes you unhappy living at home may be a better way to approach this.

You asked about social services and you may choose to contact them about this situation for support or advice. You can also find out more information about leaving home on our page about your rights.

Remember you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor for support.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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