Can my 16 year old leave home legally

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garlic bread | 20:39 Tue 11th Jul 2006 | Parenting
14 Answers
my 16 year old daughter wants to move into a flat with her 22 year old boyfriend. They have a baby together and seem to have a good relationship, not that we were pleased about but now accept it, seeing as they are a couple and he does accept responsibility for the baby. She has good support from the rest of the family at home to look after baby but i am worried, as any mother would, as i don't think I can stop her from moving out. Is she allowed to leave home and move into a flat with her boyfriend legally?


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From my own experience, I was advised by a solicitor that my daughter could choose where to live, and with whom, once she reached the age of sixteen.
Yes she can. We have just been through this with my sister, she ran away and we contacted police etc... and they say she is within her rights to leave home at 16. I was always under the impression it was 18 but looks like I am wrong.
Yeah she can. It sounds as though they are quite responsible and maybe want to take that responsibility a step further and be a "proper" family together in their own place which really is quite commendable. Try and not see it as necessarily a negative thing and stay close, she'll still need you.
There's no legal minimum age for a young person to leave home.

In some cases of family breakdown, social services arrange for 15 (or even 14) year olds to move into their own flats. (They do this where the young person is considered responsible enough, when a foster-care arrangement is unavailable or inappropriate and where social services can provide support. All the same, the young person has left home well before the age of 16 and it's perfectly legal).

Your daughter is old enough to marry her boyfriend (although, up until the age of 17 that would require your permission), so she's certainly old enough to live with him.


PS: I think that you should be congratulated for accepting that things are the way they are, rather than the way you might have wanted them to be. Things will be difficult for your daughter for some time to come; you've wisely recognised that creating a conflict situation won't help your daughter or yourself.
if i was u i'd help her to move in with the boyfriend giving her all the support she neeeds but at the same time tell her that if she ever needs you then you will be there for her, if you dont she might rebel and not talk to you again.
Yes - I had exactly the same situation with my daughter last year.She was 16 and wanted to moved in with her also 22 year old boyfriend who had a good job and his own house. I was not happy but I supported her and they are still together now,She has a job,has passed her driving test,bought a car and it has all worked out very well.
Good luck to the two of them.
your daughter is very lucky. i wish my parents could accept me for who i am and support me in it.
i wish i could tell my mum about my boyfriend i am fourteen and he is 21 and i know dat there is a big age gap but i am in love with him and he loves me but i have had to tell my mum that he is 18 this mnth and she is ok with that but he lives in spain and i have just moved to england from spain so i am goin on holidays to see him but i am scared that if he cmes to england nd my mum meets him she will realise that he is not 18 and is infact 21 . also i really want to move out at 16 and go live with him he will then be 23 so are you sure it is definately legal for mew to move out and my mum can not do anything about it when i do move out??
i always thought the legal age was 18. as im still in school education but finishing in 3 week, me & my boyfriend was close before we got together so we got to know each other & everything before we got together, there is a slight problem between us though which is our age im 16 & he's 35...people think its disgusting but its not were just any normal people who love each other. we are moving away together when i leave school i dont see a problem with that, just wanted to know if moving in with him at 16 is still the legal age?
Check out this website:

You can live independently, subject to certain conditions being met.
im 16 and wanna move out, is it legal in south africa
im 16 and want to move out to my boyfriend who is 21, is it legal in south africa? he has a good job, place and car.
I live in south africa and I'm 16 I want to move in with my boyfriend he is 22 and he has his own car and a steady income. I live with my grandparents who cannot support me due to financial problems and my dad is in jail and my mom lives in our garage and she does not have a job. If I move in with him I know I can have a better life and he can help me through school. Is it legal?
I am 15 years old and i have been with my 18 year old boyfriend for a year now and i have just a month today until my 16th, i am getting a part time job in April and we have found a decent flat for £450 pcm, it is the perfect size for us both and my parents do not trust him to come up to my bedroom as they are abit worried that i am not legal to have sex yet and think that thats all we do but sometimes we just like to have some time together so i am really hoping that i can move out, but most of the time the flats in devon, englannd you have to be 18 to move into them but i am certain that the legal age to move out is 16 and your parents have no say in it , i hope she is happier when she has her own place i know i will be :) good luck to her x

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