Can I move out of my house at age 17?

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Can I move out of my house at age 17?

I know age of majority is 18 but I personally can’t wait until then. I don’t want to be emancipated. I don’t know what else to do.

Asked on April 26, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that moving out as a minor can have legal consequences for you.  The "age of majority" (that is the age when you legally become an adult) is 18.  Until then you are a "minor" and subject to your parents authority and control (but not abuse).  Therefore you can't simply move out.

Although you state that you do not want to be legally emancipated that is the only way a minor can live on their own.  A minor can become emancipated before their 18th birthday in several ways (although it varies from state-to-state).  Some common ways are they: join the military, get married, or obtain a court order granting emancipation.  With respect to going to court, in order to successfully petition for emancipation a minor would have to show, among other things that, they have a safe place to stay, they can financially provide for themselves, and they are stable and mature enough to handle the responsibilities of adulthood.  However, courts do not routinely grant emancipation. 

At this point you need to speak with a responsible adult (minister, teacher, relative, etc) and go over your reasons for wanting to leave.  From there, possibly they can help you find out exactly what the requirements are to become emancipated in your state (if you decide to change your mind about being emancipated) .  And by all means if abuse is involved call the police immediately.


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