Can you move out at 17 without getting in trouble?

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Can you move out at 17 without getting in trouble?

I’m turning 17 this summer and can’t stand living with either of my parents. I want to move out but don’t want to get in trouble. What is the truth?

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Family Law, New York

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. In NY the "age of majority" (that is the age when someone legally becomes an adult) is 18. Until then you are a "minor" and subject to parental authority and control (but not abuse). Therefore you can't simply move out, make sure you know your legal rights before taking any action.

Legally the only way a minor can live on their own is to become "emancipated" before their 18th birthday. Emancipation means that although a person is not yet 18 in the eyes of the law they have adult rights and adult responsibilities. Unlike some other states, NY does not have a specific emancipation statute, so it is a matter for the court to decide based on the facts and circumstances of each case. In order to become emancipated, the minor must typically live independently and be self-supporting. Additionally a minor is considered emancipated if the following events have occurred:

  • They're married
  • They are a member of the armed forces
  • They have established a home and is financially independent
  • Their parent has failed to fulfill parental support obligations and the minor seeks emancipation.

You should be aware however that the courts do not routinely grant emancipation. Additionally, it can be a complicated and tedious process. You should consult with Legal Aid, a family law attorney, or other such legal services. Also, you should speak with a school counselor, minister, or trusted adult friend as to your plans.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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