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Do I have to be 18 years old in order to move out?

Cumberland, WI |

I'm turning 17 in two weeks. I have a job and can afford to live on my own while still attending high school. Do I have to be 18 years old in order to move out without getting emancipated or do I have to get emancipated?

Also, if I have to get emancipated then what routes do I take to do so without it being extremely expensive and heartbreaking?

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Filed under: Family law Juvenile law
Attorney answers 3


You would be best served by asking these questions of a local attorney or looking up the information on line.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship. I apologize for mispelling< as I am a lousy typist, My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth. Further regarding courts in other states my opinions are largely based on logic and what I think is the modern trend which is to consider the needs of the child.


North of Eau Claire, right? I am mostly a CA attorney , but have done about 1000 cases in Wi. I have a place and family in Minocqua. Anyway, 18 is the age of majority and a petition for emancipation could take a bit-4 or 5 months. Maybe you can gut it out until you graduate? If not, the courthouse clerk (civil/probate) has the forms you need as well as the fee waiver. I am not judging but just saying be careful what you ask for. Maybe talk to a family attorney in town or thereabout- doubt if any charge would be made.


Emancipation will take some time and is unlikely to be worth the trouble. In the end, it would gain you about six months, maybe less, of time that you are your own guardian. Can you move out? Yes. And if your parents are in agreement, you won't find the police at your doorstep to return you to their home. But you are also likely to have a hard time entering into a lease because you're not 18.

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