If you’re a teenager, chances are you’ve had disagreements with your parents or legal guardians. Maybe you’ve even tried to run away or made your parents so mad that they threatened to kick you out.
What if you do get the boot from your parent’s house? You don’t have to start looking at real estate listings yet. You might be a kid, but you have legal rights. We have the legal information young people like you should know when it comes to an “eviction notice” from your own family members.
Child Abandonment Is a Crime
The law likely varies depending on state laws where you live, but typically kicking out an underage child (usually a minor younger than 18 years old) is regarded as child abandonment, which is a crime under state law. This occurs when a parent, guardian, or some other person in charge deserts a child without any regard for their physical health, safety, or welfare and intends to fully abandon them and not care for them.
Sometimes even failing to provide minor children with necessary care can be considered child abandonment. Don’t get too excited though. This doesn’t mean your parents have to make your bed or give you a credit card. Necessary care generally means your parents must provide for your well-being by giving you essential things like clothing, food, shelter, education, and medical care.
Emancipation Has Benefits and Drawbacks
It is possible for a court to formally remove the legal obligation a parent has to provide for their child. Emancipation of a minor refers to a legal action in which a minor can become legally recognized as an independent young adult.
Keep in mind this means that you are responsible for your own welfare and the big decisions your parents would usually handle. Also, adult children have to prove that they have the ability to be independent and support themselves before a court will grant an emancipation request. If you already think high school is tough, try doing it while working a full-time job and paying rent and your own cellphone bill.
What Should You Do?
If you or someone you know has been abandoned or neglected or is a victim of domestic violence, contact local child protective services (CPS) or law enforcement as soon as possible. They can help you get shelter and food and connect you with appropriate social services.
You can also get legal advice quickly by checking out FindLaw’s attorney directory to find a family law attorney near you. An attorney can protect your rights and make sure the legal system treats you fairly. Additionally, the attorney-client relationship means whatever you tell them will be confidential, and they cannot tell your parents what you say.
Yes, it’s true that sometimes our parents can seem unbearable (this likely won’t change even when you’re an adult and you don’t have to follow the rules). But in most cases, remember that they love you, try to follow the rules, and watch your attitude until your 18th birthday.
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