Children and the Law
Emancipation and Ages for Moving Out
Oregon

How can a 17-year-old female move out of her parents' house in Wisconsin and not get the person she moved in with in trouble?

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May 31, 2007 5:13PM

Leaving Home

The parents of an non-emancipated minor have the custody and control of such minor. This means that the parents can legally decide where the minor lives until the minor reaches the age of majority (usually 18) or otherwise becomes emancipated.

If a minor moves away from the home of his or her parents or legal guardians without their permission, that minor can be picked up by authorities as a runaway. Depending upon the state, there may be an evaluation stage in which the situation is reviewed to insure that the individual is not endangered by being returned to the home. Some states have recognized that minors that are 16 or 17 are often considered questionable as to their ability to leave home. Authorities may not want to deal with minors in this age group and some states are establishing legislation enforcing the age of majority and eliminating any questions in the eyes of the law enforcement community.

Check with your local laws for more specifics. If you are in an unsafe environment, law enforcement personnel can put you in contact with the appropriate agencies to obtain help.