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