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Can you move out at 17 in Georgia?

Monroe, GA |

I recently turned 17 years old. My boyfriend & I have planned for me to move in with him and his family for months now. I talked to my school counselor and he told me it was legal to move out at 17 without parental consent, but I asked the sheriff and he said no, that you can't unless you're 18. I don't know who else I could talk to about legal stuff and figured a lawyer would be pretty helpful since you know all about this stuff. So, could I potentially move in with my boyfriend without parental consent next Friday, being 17, in Georgia?

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Attorney answers 3


You have to be at least age 18 before you can move out.


The sheriff is correct. However, there is a process that you can do if you want to go into court to get the authority to move out at 17. It is called emancipation. There is a trick, however. You have to be employed, not relying on your parents for support, and you have to prove to the court that you can support yourself. Your boyfriend's parents do not count as self-support. A job that pays and living quarters that you can pay for are the most important elements. Bottom line, get permission, or stay home until you turn 18.

This answer addresses only general circumstances and is not intended to be actual legal advise. Before acting on this or any other information, please consult an attorney directly.


The Sheriff is correct. Asking a guidance counselor about the law is like asking the Sheriff about college transcripts. At 17 you are no longer under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, but your parents are still in charge of you and legally responsible for you until 18. Barring emancipation, you would have to have their consent, and they could cause trouble for your boyfriend's parents for interfering with your parent's custody of you.

The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation. Robert M. Gardner, Jr. Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP 53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St. Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia (770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555 serving metro Atlanta and all of Northeast Georgia Bankruptcy, Divorce, Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Adoption, Civil and Criminal Litigation