Apex, NC asked in Family Law for North Carolina

Q: I am 15 earning over $85k/year post tax. Can I move out at 17 with parental consent?

Yes, I know this may seem like a BS question but I swear I'm not lying. Through a streak of luck, I've managed to place myself in a position where I can own a software company that nets over half a million annually, while taking a ~20% cut. I do not want to file for emancipation if possible.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser
Answered
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Your parents are legally responsible for you. So you would likely need to get emancipated or your parents may get into trouble for not properly taking care of you and you could expose them to additional liability for your actions if you screw something up the way a 15 year old child is apt to do. One of the main things you would need to prove is that you have the ability to provide for yourself. If you are making $85k a year, you are doing that better than most adults except for the fact you are only getting $85k out of a company that nets around $500,000 (overhead must be a lot). However, another thing you would have to prove is that you have the maturity to care for yourself and at 15 that would likely be difficult to do despite your financial success. Your best bet is likely to just save most of your $85 and ride out the next few years with your parents. I typically say best of luck but it appears you have already been blessed so here's to your continued luck.

1 user found this answer helpful

David Allan King
David Allan King
Answered
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I may have a different perspective as more of a business attorney. I imagine it being difficult to run a business of that size when you don't have the right to sign binding business contracts as a minor; rights that are granted upon emancipation.

In fact, quite a few difficulties come to mind: forming an LLC, finding anyone willing to lease an apartment to a minor knowing the minor isn't necessarily bound by the lease agreement, and so on.

It also sounds like you would have strong arguments for emancipation, once you turn 16. You can find North Carolina's emancipation statutes for reference at: https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByArticle/Chapter_7B/Article_35.html

In any case, if you moved out against your parents' wishes, they may call the police and have you returned to them. If your parents are ok with it (they would probably have to co-sign your lease anyway), then it just depends on if anyone bothers you.

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