Barberton, OH asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Ohio

Q: When I turn 18, do the things that are “mine” become my property even if I didn’t buy them?

Most of the things were gifted to me and some were purchased myself. The things I want to take are used by me alone and probably so. Can I legally take them when I leave home. And what about my car if it is under my dads name but I’m the only one now that drives it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: A vehicle belongs to the person named on the vehicle title. That owner would have to agree to change the title, or could demand the return of the vehicle. Gifts are gifts, and belong to the recipient. Although if ownership is disputed, there could be a lawsuit, and a judge would have to decide if an item was a gift or a loan, based on all the evidence. Upon reaching 18, the law considers a person an "adult" for some things, 21 at others. But at 18, the parents can legally terminate all support. So the new adult would have to obtain health insurance, find a new place to live and pay rent, purchase a vehicle and get car insurance, file income tax returns, and all the other responsibilities that an adult has. Being an adult requires making thoughtful decisions, to avoid hastily-decided mistakes.

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