As much as you love your teenager, there may come a day when you look at your options for having them leave your home to protect yourself and the other family members better. You may have tried just about everything you can think of to try and get your troubled teen to turn his life around.
If the situation at home has become unbearable, filled with stress, and you don’t feel safe, you may wonder just what might happen if you did kick your teenager out of your home. Are there any legal concerns to be aware of now that your teen is legally an adult? The more you know, the better informed you can be when you make the right decision for yourself and the other family members.
Consequences if your teen is under 18
The consequences of kicking out a teen under 18 can be much more severe than you may initially realize, even if they are 16 or 17 and appear reasonably self-sufficient. You may face charges of abandonment or neglect a child once law enforcement and child services get involved.
It’s important to note that this is entirely different from situations where your teen is running away from home and is difficult to locate and keep at home. If your teen has constantly been running away from home, there are good odds that you’ve already been working with law enforcement and other agencies to try and get him to stay home.
If your teen is under 18 and you do want t him to leave your home, beyond the legal concerns you may be faced with, even if your relationship with your troubled teen is strained today, you may be risking the long-term relationship with your teen if he’s not ready to fend for himself.
He may claim that he can take care of himself, but most teens cannot get a job to support themselves or otherwise take care of their needs. They’ll likely drop out of school and turn to make further bad decisions as they try to fend for themselves.
There are a few legal ways to handle a teen who is out of control. As an example, if you’ve previously shared custody with a co-parent, you may be able to have your teen move in with them. Their home may be a better solution for a teen struggling with living with you.
Another consideration is that if your teen is legally emancipated through the courts, you won’t be held responsible for his health and well-being. He will be considered a legal adult who needs to take care of his food, shelter, and other needs.
Consequences if your teen is over 18
Strictly speaking, there are no legal consequences if you kick your older teen out of your home. Unless your child is dependent on you due to a disability, they are considered to be adults at 18.
Things may get a bit more complicated if your teen has a rental agreement with you that allows them to live in your home. In these cases, you will need to wait until the end of the lease term or start legal proceedings to evict them through the court. Court evictions can be expensive and can take some time to process. During this time, your adult teen will be able to live under the same roof as you, no matter how tense the situation may be.
Things may become further muddy if your teen relies on you for financial aid and other things related to his education. You may still be legally obligated to keep up payments related to his education, even if he drops out.
Another concern to keep in mind is that if your teen’s car and his auto insurance are in your name, you may find yourself on the hook for any problems that he gets into involving his car.
The worst consequence to consider is that there is the potential for seeing your relationship with your teen come to an end. There’s no doubt that your relationship is already strained and struggling if you’ve decided to remove your teen from your home. Kicking them out without having a soft place to land can cause a deep rift that may never be healed.
Other steps to consider taking
In an ideal world, you’d be able to head off these issues before they get to the point of wanting to kick your teen out of your home. When he started acting out, you may have tried to get him help through various therapeutic solutions. You may have tried to work with his school counselors and coaches and still found yourself struggling to get his behavior back on track.
There are other options to consider, including military-styled schools, boot camps, or a residential treatment program for your teen. It’s certainly not every parent’s first choice to send their teen away to a new school or a treatment program, but the benefits are incredible for teens and parents. Not only will your teen be in a new environment where he can start fresh, but he will be able to focus on recovery and healing in an environment that supports him every step of the way.
These options are a step above getting him help from a therapist. While he will certainly get the therapeutic options that he needs, he will also be able to focus on every aspect of his mental health. If your teen has been using and abusing drugs and alcohol, he’ll go through the right programs to help him detox and recover with healthy coping strategies.
In addition to the support from mental health and medical professionals, your teen will have the opportunity to spend time with other teens who have experienced the same concerns he has.
While no one could fault you for wanting to kick your adult teen out of your home, there are some other options that you could consider, including rehab programs. The focus should always be on what is best for your teen while assuring everyone else in your home is safe and secure.