When can I leave home or move? | Youth Law in Australia (2023)

Contact us for free and confidential legal advice on this matter.Here.

The law does not specify a minimum age to leave home. This means that if you have parental consent and a safe place, you can leave the house.

The law says your parents are responsible for taking care of your needs, including providing you with a home, food, and water until you turn 18, so if you don't have parental permission and you're under 18, do you what will happen and what do you need? going home totally depends on your personal situation. Below we have explained some typical situations.

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Leaving home when under 18 years of age

If you are under 18 and want to move out of your home, this will generally depend on your personal circumstances. It is not illegal to leave home before the age of 18, but since your parents have a responsibility to take care of you, they can force you to return home. If the police are involved, they will check where you are currently and if you are safe, and check that you are safe at home.

There are many reasons why you may want to move out of your home, and these reasons will affect whether or not you are brought home.

If there is violence in your home, you don't have to put up with it and you should tell someone. Remember, if it is not safe for you to be home, you do not have to stay there.

If someone has hurt you, or you think they are about to, call000and try to go to a safe place, such as your local medical center,hospitallubricantpolice station.

For more information on what to do about domestic violence, see our pagesviolence against childrenIdomestic abuse.

If you need specific help or advice on this topic, pleaseContact UsHere.

Leaving home after turning 18

Moving out of your home is a big decision and it is important to make clear plans before you move. This includes making sure you have a safe place to live, that you have enough money, and considering how the move will affect other parts of your life, such as your studies.

Before you decide to move, it's a good idea to make a plan with a trusted adult or youth counselor so you don't end up in a bad situation.

If you need specific help or advice on this topic, pleaseContact UsHere.

Moving: important things to keep in mind

Regardless of your age, you do want to make a plan with a trusted adult or youth counselor before you decide to move, so you don't end up in a bad situation. Here are some things to think about:

  • What will I have to pay?
  • What about going to school?
  • What identity documents do I need?

What will I have to pay?

Moving and renting a house or apartment can be expensive and it is important to find out if you will have enough money to survive.

You'll need to think about the running costs of living on your own, including:

  • rent,
  • bills (electricity, gas, water, internet, etc.),
  • food,
  • household items (furniture, kitchen utensils, etc.),
  • transportation to school or work,
  • tuition fees and school uniform (if still attending school),
  • clothes and
  • other activities (for example, going to the movies with friends or playing on a sports team).

If you will be living in a shared house and sharing these costs, you need to make sure you have a very clear agreement on:

  • how much do they all pay
  • when do they pay
  • who is responsible for collecting the money,
  • How will you pay for common household items, such as cleaning supplies and
  • who is responsible for paying the bills.

For more information on rentals, see our page onrent.

If you want to move, it's a good idea to wait until you find a job and save as much money as possible before you start looking for housing. It would also be helpful to meet with a trusted adult and set up a budget before moving into your own apartment. A budget is a spending plan for the year: you'll need to think about how much you earn at work, how much you have fixed, like rent, bills, and transportation, and then how much you have left over for other things, like shopping. , clothes, other activities and reserve for your savings.

You can also check if you qualify for financial help from Centrelink.

What about going to school?

Normally, up to the age of 18, parents must sign all important school documents, such as registration and field trip forms.

If you are considering living independently of your parents, it is worth asking the school how this will affect your school records. Your school may decide that you are mature enough to sign the forms yourself, or it may decide that your parents or another trusted adult should still sign these forms for you.

It is important to know that different states have different laws regarding the age at which you can leave school. If you are thinking of leaving school after moving house, you need to make sure everything is in order. You can check our website atleaving schoolfor more information.

What identity documents do I need?

If you leave home in a hurry, your parents may still have your identity documents (such as your birth certificate or passport). This can be a problem in the future if you want to go abroad (and need a passport) or need an identity document for a specific reason (for example, to obtain a driver's license or apply for a job).

If you are thinking of leaving home, it would be a good idea to talk to your parents about who will take care of your identity documents and what identity documents you currently have if you feel safe and comfortable with this.

You can find more information about birth certificates and passports on our websiteon birth certificateslubricantpassports.

What can I do if I suddenly have to leave home?

If you need to leave your home immediately because it is not safe, but you have nowhere to go, you can call the crisis support center for help finding accommodation. Crisis housing is short-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Check your status below to find out who you can call for help.

If you are worried about being homeless or don't have a place to stay, you can ccheck out Brisbane Youth Service, a service to care for young people by finding suitable housing, dealing with physical and mental health issues and building strong support networks. you can call them3620 2400 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am to 5pm or Wednesday 1pm to 5pm. You can also check their websiteHere.

useful contacts

Remember, no matter what, there are always people you can talk to. If you want to talk about what is happening, you can talk to an adviser on the Children's Helpline free of charge and anonymously on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your number is free from Optus, Telstra and Vodafone mobiles and landlines. You can also email them and chat online at certain times of the day.Here.

If you are anxious, depressed or afraid of something, you can also call Headspace on 1800 650 890 for free and anonymous counseling from 8am to 5pm. m. to 12 p.m. m., 7 days a week. You can also email them or chat online during certain hours of the day.Here.

You can download a printable version of this page here:

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When can I leave home or move? | Youth Law in Australia? ›

You can leave home at any age providing you have a safe place to go to.

When can you legally leave home in Australia? ›

Once you turn 16, you won't normally be forced to return home by the authorities as long as you've got a safe place to go and you can financially support yourself. If you're under 18 and leave home, the police and Child Safety may investigate the reasons why you left home.

Can you move out at 14 in Australia? ›

There is no law about what age you can leave home, but your parents generally have to look after you until you're 18. The most important thing is you have a safe place to live. If you are under 18 and there are Family Court orders about you or you are under guardianship, then the law may be different for you.

Can I tell my 17 year old to leave home? ›

Is it legal for teenagers to move out without their parents' permission? In the United States, the legal age of majority is 18. To legally move out of your parent's house, you must be eighteen (18) years old. Becoming emancipated is the only legal way for a minor to leave the family home without parental consent.

What can you do when you turn 16 Australia? ›

16 year-olds can:
  • have sex as long as both people consent.
  • get a prescription for contraceptives.
  • apply to Housing ACT for a place to live.
  • get married with their parents' and/or the court's permission.
  • consent to a medical procedure without parental permission.

What is the 24 month rule Australia? ›

If you are aged 12-15, a person who you have sex with may be charged with a crime unless you are within 24 months (2 years) of age.

What can I do if my 16 year old refuses to come home? ›

These include:
  1. Use a graduated system to rectify the situation.
  2. Open up a reasonable line of communication with the noncustodial parent.
  3. Ascertain why the teen does not want to come home.
  4. Consider the age of the teen and the possibility for a change.
  5. Involve law enforcement.
  6. Seek a court order.
  7. Seek legal assistance.

Can I drop out at 16 Australia? ›

The legal leaving age is 17

Your child cannot leave schooling until they are 17 years old. Your child must go to a school campus (or an approved alternative) until they finish year 10.

What age is considered a child in Australia? ›

Section 8 of the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) defines a child as an individual under 18 years.

What rights does a 14 year old have in Australia? ›

From 14 years, children are considered fully responsible if they break the law. It doesn't have to be proved that they knew their behaviour was 'seriously wrong'. Children aged 10-17 years are generally treated as 'children' by the police and the children's courts.

Can my parents kick me out at 18? ›

In general, as a parent, you only have duties towards minor children. As soon as your children reach the age of 18, these duties end, as well as the fact that they are minors. You can kick your adult child out of your home and stop fully supporting them.

Can my parents check my phone at 18? ›

So realistically, if the phone was a gift to you by your parents before you were an adult, since you are now an adult you have a right to privacy in all your affairs, including your mobile phone.

Can you move out at 16 without parental consent in Canada? ›

Based upon the province you've indicated that you live in, legal age to move out is 18. You can move out at an earlier age, but only if you have parents consent.

Can a 16 year old sleep with an 18 year old Australia? ›

If the sex is consensual (and it must be enthusiastic consent) and the other party is also aged 16 years or over it is not against the law, although there are some exceptions: If the person is very drunk or under the influence of drugs, they may not have the capacity to consent so having sex with them is an offence.

Can a 16 year old date a 30 year old in Australia? ›

In general, there are no laws that say when a young person can start dating another person (but there are laws about doing sexual activity with another person, which we explain below!)

What happens when you turn 15 in Australia? ›

At 15, your child can: apply for a tax file number (TFN) without your help. access their immunisation history statement themselves. open their own bank account.

Can you emigrate to Australia if you are over 50? ›

Visa Options for Migrants Aged 45 Years and Above

There are 6 categories of parent visas available to these class of persons and include the following subclasses: Parent Visa – subclass 103 – permanent. Contributory Parent visa – subclass 173 – temporary. Contributory Parent Visa – subclass 143 – permanent.

What are the requirements to migrate to Australia? ›

Be aged between 18 and 31. Have a passport from an eligible country. Have saved AU $5,000 to support yourself during your stay. Have not previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 462 visa)

What do I need to be able to live in Australia? ›

Keep reading to learn the most important things you need to know to plan a move to Australia.
  1. Migration Agents Can Help. ...
  2. Look for Employment in Australia. ...
  3. Apply For an Australian Visa. ...
  4. Purchase Health Insurance for Living in Australia. ...
  5. Get Quotes for and Hire an International Moving Company. ...
  6. Find a Home in Australia.

Is running away from home illegal in Australia? ›

There is no law that says what age you can leave home.

You can leave home at any age providing you have a safe place to go to. If you leave home and are considered to be in physical or moral danger then the Police or Department of Child Protection & Family Services may become involved.

What to do when your wife runs away with your child? ›

As soon as your spouse moves out with the children, you should contact an attorney immediately and file an emergency petition with the court. Contact your spouse and demand that they bring the children back, and keep a record of this request (such as by screenshotting text messages or keeping emails).

Can your parents legally go through your room? ›

Yes they can, it may be called theft and you may want to inform the authorities. If the “Your stuff” was gotten before you were 18 legally it may belong to your parents and unless they have given it to you at 18 it's still theirs.

Is it illegal to not go to school in Australia? ›

Your child must go to school until they are 17 years old. If your child wants to leave before they are 17 for another program or employment, there are certain requirements that must be met. These must be approved by the department. Parents can be prosecuted if they do not make sure their child goes to school.

What happens if a child refuses to go to school Australia? ›

Schools have a legal responsibility to notify parents and carers about absenteeism, and to work closely with parents to support a child's attendance. If a child has been absent without explanation for more than five days in a year, their school principal may contact you for an explanation.

What happens if you don't go to school in Australia? ›

If you don't go to school or take part in your agreed form of education or training, your parents can be fined and even taken to court. There are a few exceptions to this, like if you are home-schooled or you or your parents apply for and get special permission.

What is the minimum wage in Australia? ›

The national minimum wage increase

Following the Fair Work Commission (FWC) Annual Wage Review 2022-23, the Australian national minimum wage has now increased to $23.23 per hour. This increase will come into effect from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2023.

What age can a child refuse to see a parent in Australia? ›

In Australia, there is no minimum age which a child can legally refuse to see a parent following divorce or separation. Of course, once children of divorce reach the age of 18 years they can make their own decisions about where they live or which parent they want to spend time with.

How old are first years in Australia? ›

Australia. In Australia, Year 1 is usually the second year of compulsory education. Although there are slight variations between the states, most children in Year 1 are aged between six and seven.

Can a 17 year old sleep with a 15 year old Australia? ›

This is exactly two years. For example, if a person is 17 and has sex with someone who is 15, it is not a crime. But if the person was 18, it is a crime unless the person believed the person was 16 or older.

Can a 16 year old sleep with a 15 year old Australia? ›

The legal age for consensual sex varies between 16 and 17 years across Australian state and territory jurisdictions (see Table 2). For other sexual activities, the criminal legislation relating to different types of sexual behaviours and interactions varies across Australian jurisdictions.

Is it illegal to kick out a minor Australia? ›

Can parents legally kick you out in Australia? Well, not legally, no. As far as the law is concerned legal age to leave home is 18 years old. Sure, parents may threaten to throw out their kids during heated arguments, and kids might threaten to run away from home.

Is it bad to kick your child out of the house? ›

A parent should be the first person to help guide their struggling teen or young adult. It is dangerous to kick your kid out. Your relationship with your child may become forever strained because your child feels abandoned. They may never get over the hurt and pain caused by your decision.

Can my parents just kick me out? ›

If you are considered a tenant under your state or local laws, you have the same legal protections as any other renter. This means you cannot be evicted without a court order, and likely have other legal protections as well. If you are unsure about your legal rights to stay in your family home, ask a lawyer.

Can my parents kick me out at 14? ›

Kicking an underage child (meaning under 18 in most states) out of the house, without the child being emancipated, can often be considered child abandonment, which is a crime.

Can my parents take my phone if I paid for it? ›

If your parents bought the property you use and it was not a gift to you, then the property belongs to your parents. You do not have a right to take it. Anything that you bought, even if it was from allowance or gift money, is yours. Anything that was a gift to you, like a tv for your birthday, is yours.

Why can't I talk to my parents about my feelings? ›

Talking to a parent about mental health can be scary for a number of reasons. Many people report being afraid to tell their parents because they do not want to upset them. Sometimes we don't understand where troubling feelings or thoughts are coming from and feel guilty for having them.

How can I turn off my child's phone at night? ›

Download the Family Link for Children & Teens on your kid's phone (available for Android only). On your phone, create a family manager account. Once your kid's profile is set up, select Bedtime and set the span of time your kid can't use their phone.

What age can I leave home in Alberta? ›

Once you are 18, you can leave home. You have reached the age of majority and are legally responsible for yourself. If you are 16 or 17 years old, living independently of your parents or guardians, and in need of support, you can make an agreement with Alberta Children's Services.

What is the legal age to stay home alone in Alberta? ›

10 to 12 years. There is no legislation in Alberta that determines an age at which a child may safely be left home alone. Alberta has placed that decision into the parent's or guardian's hands (assuming they are not placing a child in harm's way).

Can you go to Canada under 18 without parents? ›

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website provides a full list of allowable documents. Travel with Minors: If you plan to travel to Canada with a minor for whom you do not have full legal custody, CBSA may require a letter of authorization from the minor's parents or legal guardian(s).

What is the lowest age of consent in the world? ›

The lowest minimum age is 14 years, set in seven Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Portugal. The highest is set at 18 years – in Malta. About half of the Member States apply different age limits to sexual acts between young persons.

Can a 30 year old sleep with a 16 year old? ›

While in many circumstances it is perfectly legal for an adult to have consensual sexual contact or intercourse with a 16-year-old, there are some circumstances where it is not. Most often, it comes down to the nature of the relationship between the two individuals.

What is Japan's age of consent? ›

Japan also raised the legal age of consent, so that sexual intercourse with someone under 16 is now considered rape. For a long time, the country had one of the lowest age of consent among developed countries.

How many men has the average woman slept with by age 30? ›

Ages 30-34: Among women, 22% had 0-1 partner, 31% had had 2-4 partners, 25% had had 5-9 partners, and 22% had had 10+ partners. Among men, 17% had had 0-1 partners, 21% had had 2-4 partners, 20% had had 5-9 partners, and 42% had had 10+ partners.

Is it illegal for a 40 year old dating 17? ›

California, however, does not have a Romeo and Juliet law. Anyone who has sexual intercourse with someone else under the age of consent can be charged with a crime. The only exception is if the sexual partners were lawfully married.

What's the age of consent in America? ›

As the first column in Table 1 shows, the age of consent varies by state. In the majority of states (34), it is 16 years of age. In the remaining states, the age of consent is either 17 or 18 years old (6 and 11 states, respectively). Note: Some states have marital exemptions.

What is the Romeo and Juliet law in Australia? ›

It is an offence in the Australian Capital Territory to have sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16. However, it is a defence if the younger party was aged 10 years or older and the offender was not more than 2 years older than the younger party.

Is 19 a minor in Australia? ›

About legal age in Australia

In Australia, you're considered to be an adult when you turn 18 years old.

When can you drink in Australia? ›

Legal drinking age – you must be 18 or older to buy alcohol or to drink alcohol in a licensed venue. Selling alcohol – it's illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 or to someone who is already drunk. Labelling – all packaged alcohol must show how many standard drinks it contains.

Is a 16 year old a child in Australia? ›

Australian Capital Territory

a child is defined as a person who is under 12 years old (section 11) a young person means a person who is 12 years or older, but not yet an adult (section 12)

Can I leave home at 16 without my parents consent NZ? ›

Once you have turned 16 you don't need your parents' permission to leave home (although your parents will still be your legal guardians until you are 18). If they are worried about how you are living, they could apply to the court for an order saying that you must move home or live somewhere else.

Is 15 and 17 illegal in Australia? ›

Although the legal age of consent throughout Australia is either 16 or 17 years of age, legislation in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia makes it an offence for a person in a supervisory role to have sexual interactions with a ...

Can you legally move out at 17 Australia? ›

In Australia, most people stay with their parents until they are at least 18 years old and your parents will remain your legal guardians until then. For more information about when you can legally leave home visit the Youth Law Australia website.

Can a 16 year old date a 40 year old in Australia? ›

If you are 16 years old and above, you can legally have sex (or do another sexual activity) with another person who is 16 years or older as long as you both agree to it.

What age is a minor in New Zealand? ›

In New Zealand a person is considered a child or "minor" until the age of 20. On reaching this "age of majority" the person is no longer a child in the eyes of the law, and has all the rights and obligations of an adult.

What happens if you run away from home at 14? ›

Police Can Detain Runaways

Regardless of whether a particular state recognizes running away as a status offense, police can always take runaways into custody. The options available to police include: returning them home. convincing their parents or guardians to temporarily let them stay with friends or family.


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