Children and the Law
Emancipation and Ages for Moving Out
Aphrodite (Venus)

Can a 16-year-old who has left their home legally be forced to go back?

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2005-09-06 23:06:51
2005-09-06 23:06:51

yes until age of 17 then the courts and guardian can agree to emancipate the child The age of majority in all but four states is 18, that is the age when a teen can leave the family home by their own choice. Until they reach that age the parents are legally and financially responsible for them. The preferred way is for the teen to voluntarily return to the family home. In most states the parents are allowed, if necessary to use physical force as long as it is not excessive. The usual way is the filing of a runaway or absentee minor report with the authorities to have the teen taken into custody and let a judge decide what is to be done to resolve the issue. Early emancipation is NOT automatic and is NOT granted to every teen that applies. Procedures and requirements are established by the laws of the state in which the teen resides. Simply wanting to "leave home" is not adequate grounds for being granted an emancipation decree. The person must prove to the court that they can provide for themselves independently of adult involvement. This means you must be able to EARN enough income to pay for housing, food, clothing, medical care and if applicable educational costs. The teen petitioner must supply the court with the substantiating documents, and will be responsible to pay all court costs and legal fees incurred. The four states that have an older age of majority are, ALabama and Nebraska 19, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, 21.

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