If I’m 16 and want to take a job that my parent’s may not want me to, legally do they have a say in whether I accept it or not?

I have already graduated high school and will be getting my license in a month. I recently got a job offer that would require me to travel state-to-state. It’s a great opportunity for me and I do not want to turn it down. My parents may not want me to go but legally do they have a say? This job will allow me to support myself. The job will pay for a place for me to stay in addition to paying me for my work! I will be self sufficent and not need my parents financially. The job also says I don’t need working papers, since it’s another state. Am I legally allowed to take this job offer without my parents consent? Am I allowed to leave home and do this, or will the police bring me back?

Asked on November 6, 2014 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First, may I say that you seem to be a person beyond your years and I applaud you for graduating school so early and being such a go getter in life.  But may I also say that this job sounds a little too good to be true and I would ask another adult (if you are at odds with your parents right now) to look in to it with you. WHose car are you driving? First, you need to understand that because you are 16 you can not legally own a car or obtain insurance.  Car insurance is a contract and you do not have that ability at 16 to "contract" for anything.  Next, New York does not have an emancipation law so you are still under the care of your parents until you are 18.  Also, I would be very leery of any company that will hire a 16 year old to travel state to state for any reason.  The liability is enormous.  That is why I am saying that you need to look in to this more.   You have such a go getter attitude and appear that you will go far one day.  Consider starting college locally (even a few courses at a time) and getting a job in the field you see yourself in the future.  Good luck.

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