Can I leave my parents’ house 3 months away from my 18th birthday?

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Can I leave my parents’ house 3 months away from my 18th birthday?

I want to leave my home because my parents are holding me back from a normal life. They want me inside constantly, even if I want to go out and look for a job. I want to move back to a different area of the state because I have a place to stay there and I plan on going to college there; I would have more of an opportunity to find a job and I would be around so much more support. I am a high school graduate. I plan on starting college this fall. Can I leave my house right now, without parental consent, and not be forced to go back home?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sometimes, a minor can get him- or herself legally "emancipated" prior to reaching the age of majority, but this is a legal proceeding--i.e. it takes time (and possibly money, though very often there are resources available to help out). If you are three months aways from your 18th birthday, it is *very* unlikely that you could get emancipated before you'd turn 18 anyway. Also, while a guardian may be appointed for an abused or neglected minor, from what you describe, that's not available in this case--you don't describe abuse or neglect. Without some legal determination in your favor, you are still under your parent's control until you turn 18--and also unable to many things, like sign contracts or agreements of any kind, which you'd need to do if you were out of their house. As hard as it may be to wait, with only three months remaining, you are probably better off waiting for your majority, unless the situation turns actually abusive or dangerous, in which event you should go to the authorities for help.


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