Can a 17 year old leave and move to another state without his parents permission?

I understand he can leave his home legally in his current state because he is not considered a minor any longer. He wants to move with his friend’s family for a fresh start. His parents are just shy of abusive; they provide a shelter, food in the cupboards and clothing but that is all. He is ignored and used mainly as a babysitter and work horse. They hardly acknowledge his presence; there is no family bonding whatsoever. He has basically been told he will be out when he is 18, which is in 7 months. By the time he would do the paperwork to become emancipated he will turn 18. He has a good opportunity to live with a good family can he do it?

Asked on September 1, 2012 under Family Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a child remains a minor until he or she reaches the age of 18. A 17 year old is still a minor and subject to the control of his or her parents legally unless the minor obtains a court order of emancipation.

From a practical point of view, if the minor's parents do not care what he is doing presently from what you have written, it may be in this child's best interests to move away from home, finish high school, attend college or junior college, get a job to support himself so as to build a better life.

If this minor has an opportunity to live with a good family who gives him the attention, guidance, and care he deserves, he should move out where he is given the borderline abusive situation you have written about.

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