Marion, NC asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina

Q: im 16 and i live in north carolina.what would happen if i moved out without parental consent?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Melissa Averett
Melissa Averett
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: If you move out before the age of 18 without an order from the court that you are emancipated, your parents can have you declared an undisciplined or runaway juvenile and have you returned to the home by law enforcement. Or they can do nothing but since you're not 18, you can't get a job without their permission, you can't get school paperwork signed without them, you can't apply for college without their cooperation, you can't sign a contract to rent an apartment, or buy a car or get a credit card or open a bank account without their signature.

You're an adult when you turn 18 under the law. Almost an adult does not have any legal meaning. Almost an adult is still a minor child under the law.

Amanda Bowden Johnson
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Depends on whether or not your parents care that you left. They can care in three senses: 1) one they can care about you or 2) they can care about themselves getting in trouble for not doing anything or 3) some combination of 1 and 2. If they care in any of the three ways, they can basically force you to come back home (assuming you can be found alive). If they don't care, basically not much will happen until you screw up in some fashion, at which point any number of bad things can happen in degrees varying from you being returned home alive to you being returned home not alive. In short, leaving without parental consent is usually a very bad idea. Just wait out the less than two years you have left. At 16 you will have virtually none of the things you need to be a productive member of society. Best of luck.

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