So you’re 16 or 17 and you want to move out.
I’ll lay out the facts as objectively as possible and answer your questions, i’ll let you decide if it’s worth it and/or possible to move out at 16 or 17.
Can i legally move out at 16 or 17?
Legally, in most states you will have to obtain your parents permisison to move out if you’re under 18.
Otherwise, without permission you will have to get emancipated (freeing your parents’ legal control over you). Which in itself is a lengthy procedure please visit http://ctlawhelp.org/a-teenagers-guide-to-emancipation for more information on this process. After this process you will be viewed as an adult in the eyes of the law.
Finding accommodation and contract legal issues
Check with your state on laws regarding signing contracts.
As a general rule, if you’re emancipated you will be able to sign lease contracts. If you’re moving out with your parents permission you will have to get them to co-sign the lease. Also you may need a guarantor – someone to ensure that if you are unable to pay the lease they will be able to.
Having said this, finding accommodation when you’re under 18 isn’t easy. Many letting agencies/landlords will not even consider you for a property until you’re 18 (some even 21), so be aware that finding a suitable property will take time. Do some groundwork before making any final decisions
Can I afford to live out of home?
There are a lot of costs that your parents cover, everything costs money. Click HERE for a breakdown of how much money you will need to move out.
In short, it’s not cheap. And being under 18 your job opportunities are limited, so if you do live out of home expect to be working an absolute minimum of 25 hours a week.
What else do i need to know before moving out?
Moving out means assuming COMPLETE responsibility. When things go wrong and trust me they will go wrong, you have to fix it up. Everything is on your shoulders, it’s both a blessing and a curse.
You will have to give up a lot of time for the freedoms that are afforded from living away from home.
If you’re pursuing any form of tertiary education, moving out makes it extremely tough to finish. You will have little time to have fun as if you aren’t working on school work you will be working to pay off your bills.
Understand if you decide to move out before you’re 18 it’s a lot harder than moving out before 18, you have to navigate lots of tricky legal situations, you won’t be considered an adult in lots of peoples eyes, you are paid distinctly less money than if you’re 18, also be prepared to give up a lot of your free time whether that be paying off bills, cleaning or just plain working to cover your living costs. Don’t expect it to be all partying and freedom, those freedoms cost a LOT in time and money.
In short, it’s going to be hard work
Good luck on your journey.