Is It Legal to Kick Your Child Out at 18?

Is It Legal to Kick Your Child Out at 18?

Some parents may want to know, is it legal to kick your child out at 18? For many, children are the joy of a parent’s life. They play an important role in their parents’ lives in various ways. Oftentimes we’re enveloped in unconditional love and cherished experiences from our parents, which helps build a long-lasting bond between both parties. But I’d be lying if I said there aren’t times when a child can overstay their welcome.

Continuing to live off your parents while absorbing their resources and showing no clear signs or indications of self-independence can lead many parents to ask: “Is it legal to kick your child out at 18?”

While laws and rules vary from state to state and some implications of kicking or evicting a child from the house can be harrowing, it’s a well-known fact that a child that reaches the age of adulthood can be moved out of one’s home. However, as said before there’s more than what meets the eye in this situation, so it’s important we fully go over the process to be able to grasp a strong idea of what we’re dealing with, both as young adults and parents.

At what Age Can Your Parents Kick You Out?

Is It Legal to Kick Your Child Out at 18?

So, at what age CAN your parents kick you out?

Legally, a parent is responsible for his or her child until the age of 18 whereas the child would now be considered an adult who is responsible for themselves. With that being said, kicking out an underage child before the legal age of adulthood is regarded by the law as child abandonment. This is considered a crime. It is not the same if the child is an emancipated minor.

Can Children Leave The House Before 18?

Although it varies from state to state, a child can become emancipated from their parent from ages 16-17, which makes a child assume mature-age responsibilities and makes them fully recognized as an independent adult in the eyes of the law. Emancipation also legally terminates the relationship between a child and a parent, which means it is no longer a parent’s responsibility to provide care, support, or housing for the emancipated child.

So, In Short…

Generally, a parent can only really kick a child out of their house once they’re 18, which is when the child is now fully recognized as an independent adult by the court of law and is now responsible for their own care and actions. And although it isn’t exactly legal for your parents to kick you out before 18, a minor, at ages 16-17, is able to emancipate themselves from their parents and assume legal responsibility as an adult.

How Do I Kick My Son Out Of the House?

Is it legal to kick your child out at 18? And if so, how do I kick my son out of the house?

This is usually common to hear from parents who are having trouble with motivating young adults that still live at their house, or who might be struggling with transitioning into adulthood.

It’s no easy job when it comes to kicking out or evicting a loved one from your home. As said before there are definitely rules to be aware of and implications to be ready for.

Kicking somebody out of your house is a difficult process emotionally and can form rifts in even the tightest of relationships. This is why it’s important that you treat this process as a sensitive one because that’s exactly what it is when it comes to a child departing from their parent.

Formal Departure

Is It Legal to Kick Your Child Out at 18?

Sending your child off into the world with your support & care, or what I would like to call a formal departure, is definitely the way most parents and young adults alike would like to depart from each other.

Getting a job, packing your things, and moving out, while still having a relationship with your parents is a good way to start out and is very beneficial to young adults making their way out into the world for the first time. It makes the transition process from child to adult a lot smoother.

Helping your son or daughter in the process of becoming independent with your wisdom and experience, and their willingness is one of the best ways to help your child out of your house and into the world.

Eviction From Your House

Is It Legal to Kick Your Child Out at 18?

Although having a formal departure is how most people would like to depart from each other, if you’re asking Is it legal to kick my child out at 18? then odds are you having an issue with your child and their stay in your house.

Whether it be one misbehaving and becoming uncontrollable, abusing drugs or acting wrongfully under your household and name, or simply just overstaying their welcome under your wing as a parent; sometimes asking somebody when they’re going to move out isn’t enough.

Especially if they refuse to leave…

Eviction is a last resort for many parents but is still definitely an action that must be taken if things get out of control. Eviction laws vary from state to state, however, they generally tend to point out that if you’re the owner of your household and your child is living under your roof without paying rent then they are considered a houseguest and you’re able to kick them out without going through an eviction process (nonetheless it would still be smart to consult with a lawyer before doing so).

If you have a lease with your adult child, then the law will treat them as a tenant and that means there are requirements you’ll need to follow when it comes to evicting them. If they’re in breach of contract you’ll be able to evict them with a cause which means you’ll have to give them a 3-day notice before evicting them. And if you simply just want to kick them out of your house without cause, you’ll have to give them a 30-day notice before they move out.

Things are typically handled a lot easier when you don’t get the law involved, but if you have no choice and see this as the best course of action be sure to remember that eviction laws & rules vary from state to state and so it’s wise to read up on the laws in your state before taking action.

Can My Dad Kick Me Out Of the House?


If you’re reading this article as an 18-year or older young adult who’s concerned about whether your parents can or can’t kick you out of their house, now you have your answer.

An individual who has become recognized as an adult under the eyes of the law is emancipated from their parents, which means their parents are no longer required to be responsible for you and your care. You are now independent and you’re expected to be responsible for your own self and care. It’s always wise to try to depart from your parents on a good note, but sometimes situations aren’t always what we want them to be.

So, with that being said:

What Do You Do If Your Parents Kick You Out at 18?

What DO you do if your parents kick you out at 18?

Getting rushed out of your parent’s house when you’re least prepared can be a harrowing process for any person, especially if you don’t have any food, money, or other places to stay. Predicaments like this can cause many individuals to face the unwanted struggles that homelessness brings and the even bigger struggles that would occur in one’s mental state.

So what do you do?


Assistance to those in need of aid should be one of your main priorities. Getting kicked out of your house and being put in such a critical state can leave you compromised and cause even more issues for you down the road. It’s important you find people and organizations that are willing to help you find shelter, eat food, get money, and get back on your feet and into the world.

Friends & Loved Ones

To start, it’s smart you reach out to your inner circle for aid. Have those you know who are willing to help you give you assistance in some sort of way or action. Assuming your relationship with your parents may not exactly be the best since they’ve kicked you out, you can still try to reach out to your aunties, uncles, or cousins who value you and your well-being.

On top of that, close friends that you have a strong relationship with may also come through to your aid with support. Looking to those you know and trust when you’re compromised is a good start, but you can’t live on your friend’s couch forever nor can you keep taking money from your aunts and uncles (that’ll only leave you in more trouble). So what’re the next options when it comes to helping you in your predicament?

Government Welfare Programs

Welfare programs are specifically designed for individuals who are in financial trouble or are struggling to make a proper amount of money and live a decent quality of life. Programs such as SNAP, WIC, TANF, COC, and so on, can provide aid for any person in your stressful predicament. When handling the situation you’re in, it’s important you keep an eye on programs like these. They will definitely provide some type of support or course of action for your situation.

These are just a few of many government programs that can assist you in shelter, money, food, medical aid, and so on.

Nonprofit Organizations, Private Charities, & Volunteering

Charities and nonprofit organizations are also dedicated to people struggling through rough situations. There are many ways to check and see if any local charities are the aid & support that suits your current state and the same can be said for nonprofit organizations. Click here for more info.

There are also volunteer programs you can be a part of such as The California Conservation Corps, that can provide opportunities for development and aid in situations young adults might be struggling with; while also mutually benefiting people and the environment through natural resource work and emergency response as well.

Sometimes life gets tough and puts us in situations that would only appear in nightmares. But it’s important to keep your head up and to keep moving forward. When you survive and push through painful situations, it’ll only strengthen you and your abilities whilst rewarding you with a newfound confidence in yourself and your capabilities.

Stay strong, and keep going forward one day at a time.

Is It Legal to Kick Your Child Out at 18?

In short, yes. For the most part, the law recognizes children as independent adults once they’ve reached 18 which means they’re responsible for themselves. And although situations tend to be too complex to generalize with single solutions, it’s important you try your best to have a good departure with your child, and vice versa, it’s important you as a young adult makes an attempt to leave your parent’s house on a good note.

However, oftentimes things are easier said than done, as mentioned before situations are too complex to be categorized with 1 solution. It’s always best to leave it up to the judgment of the parties involved while making an effort to progress in a peaceful and mutualistic manner. If you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, then at least you know you’ve tried your best.

Christopher Udeani and Christine Udeani, JD
Christopher Udeani and Christine Udeani, JD

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