Can I Just Leave and Live with My Dad Without Going to Court?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

I am 17-years-old and I live in Florida. My mom has custody of me, but I hate living with her. I want to live with my dad, but she says she will call the cops and bring me back home if I leave. Can she call the cops and force me to come home? Can I just leave and live with my dad without going to court?

In regard to your first question, yes your mother can call the police to have you returned home. In order for you to go and live with your father in another state, your father will need to have your child custody order modified giving him the right to transport you out-of-state in order to reside with him.

Note, you mother may contest the modification of the child custody order. She may seek to obtain full custody over you, or partial custody. If this occurs, your other option may be to seek emancipation, but additional restrictions will also come with that as well.