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Leaving Home at 16: The UK Law Regarding Under 18's Moving Out

Updated on October 2, 2012
Leaving Home at 16: The UK Law Regarding Under 18's Moving Out
Leaving Home at 16: The UK Law Regarding Under 18's Moving Out | Source

If for any reason you are seriously considering leaving home before your 18th birthday but don't know if you can, it's always best to make sure you know where the law stands with regards to your particular situation.

Age and the Law

Typically, until you're 18 years old, your parents have a significant level of control over you, as, if you're under 18 years of age the government still considers you a minor, however physically, mentally or emotionally mature you consider yourself, and, as a result if you live with your parents, they are legally your guardians, however, just because your parents are your guardians by law, doesn't overule your human rights, or, more specifically, your rights as a young person. For instance, did you know that according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 31; that every child has the right to play?

The UK Law Regarding Minors Leaving Home

Although you're still considered a minor at the age of 16, the government believes that you are mature enough to make important decisions about your life for yourself, this is why the age of consent is 16 years in the UK.

In the majority of circumstances, you can leave home without your parent's specific consent, your parents or anyone with parental responsibility over you.

Things to note

  • Should you decide to leave home against your parent's (or anyone else with parental responsibility's) consent, there's nothing to say they won't seek court action to try to force you to come back home, but the reality is, if the situation was taken to court, it's unlikely that any court would order you to return home if you didn't want to.
  • For more information relevant to this subject such as renting accommodation and being forced to leave home try the Young people and housing section Citizen's Advice Bureau's official website the Citizen's Advice Guide.

Are you under 18 and thinking about leaving home?

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    • TheShadowSpecter profile image

      Jason B Truth 3 months ago from United States of America

      Jeff? When I lived in California, there was a legal procedure in which a minor as young as 14 years of age could become legally emancipated from their parents. That is, a minor had a way of legally terminating their parents' guardianship rights over them. Use of this procedure was particularly common in Los Angeles where I lived, because many kids earn six-figure incomes in show business. It differs from state jurisdiction to state jurisdiction here in the United States of America, however. Some states do not allow for minors to seek emancipation until they are 15 years old, 16 years old, or even 17 years old. I know of no state jurisdiction here in my country where the minimum age for a minor to do so is less than 14 years old. Anyhow, I just wanted to give you the heads-up on how it all works here in the United States of America. Your article had valuable information in it regarding the laws in the United Kingdom in this regard.

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