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Are There Legal Ramifications For Kicking a Teen Out?

Sundance Canyon Academy knows many parents are struggling with a household that doesn’t feel safe because of their teen’s behavior. Perhaps you are scared for your physical and mental health and other family members. Out-of-control teen behavior can make your home feel like an angry tyrant is running it without a fully developed brain.

A rebellious teen can make your life unbearable. Many parents want to kick the teen out of the house. Some follow through. Even though you love your child, dangerous behavior needs boundaries, and you need to know your legal options.

There are significant legal differences between kicking a teen out that is over 18 and under 18. Follow along as we give you the information you need for this critical decision.

Legal Options When Dealing With an Out-of-Control Teenager

When you feel you’ve tried everything, but your teen’s behavior has got you to the end of your rope, kicking the teen out of the house may seem like a tempting option. That is a serious step, so it’s essential to know all the legal ramifications accompanying this decision. No matter how crazy your teen might make you if they are under 18, they are still a minor, bringing plenty of caution and concern.

Parenthood brings much responsibility and your teen not only looks to you for food, shelter, and safety, but they are due by law. Kicking a teen out can cause a charge of abandonment, and your frustrations will turn into a legal issue overnight. It doesn’t matter if you kick your teen out or leave on their own; you are still legally on the hook to provide for them financially and ensure their safety.

Legal emancipating is the only way a teen’s welfare stops being your responsibility as a parent, no matter how terrible they are acting. Emancipation legally separates parents from a child, allowing them to act as if they were adults. They can decide where they live, work, and who they associate with.

If this happens, you as the parent will not be held responsible for your teens’ actions if they should find themselves on the wrong side of the law or make a decision that harms them. The teen is now solely responsible for their actions. The allowable age for emancipation varies from state to state, but, commonly, a child must reach 16 before being emancipated.

An Adult Teen Over 18

A person over 18 is automatically emancipated from their parents unless they have guardianship (usually due to physical or mental disability). If your child is over 18, you may ask them to leave unless they are on the rental agreement or deed of the home. In that case, they have as much legal right to occupy the house as you do.

If their behavior is dangerous or illegal, you will need to involve law enforcement and possibly get a restraining order to get the teen out of the house.

If your child is not on the lease or mortgage, you are within your legal rights to request that they leave home. In most states, you do not need to give them 30 days’ notice. If they refuse to go, you can sue to evict your teen as soon as you have requested they leave.

If you’ve asked the adult child to leave and they refuse, contact the police and sue for eviction. Contact a family practice lawyer in your state for further information.

Additional Options for Teens Under 18

Since emancipation is a last resort, you will want to consider other options before that huge step. Without question, it’s important to be heard, keep your family safe, and be responsible. Kicking out your teen is a significant move and can have lifelong consequences.

It can be hard to put yourself back into your teen’s shoes. The average teen has so much going on personally and socially already. That ramps up considerably when a teen is troubled.

Learning to cope with significant issues in their lives is essential, and if they don’t do so early on, similar problems can potentially plague them throughout their adulthood. Showing your teen that you love and support them can go a long way to helping them regain their footing.

Parenting is not easy. Teens will constantly test authority to see their limits. This testing can be a frustrating tug of war between parents and teens. Here are some things to end that frustrating cycle.

Make a connection

While it may feel like you and your teen are speaking different languages most of the time, this can be ratcheted up when they are acting out. Finding some common ground by showing interest in the things they enjoy can go a long way to getting on the same page with them. This will help your teen lean on you more when challenging situations arise.

Watch for Substance Abuse

It’s nearly impossible to prevent teens from experimenting with drugs or alcohol. Experimentation can become an addiction in a short time. Even if a teen doesn’t become addicted, their behavior while on a substance can get them into trouble. That trouble can become criminal and result in problems with their education. Watching out for drug or alcohol use is important so you can help guide your teen accordingly.


Teenagers might be having problems with siblings, school, or friends that you’re unaware of. They may also have physical, emotional, or mental health struggles starting to manifest. Talk to your teen’s doctor about obtaining a thorough physical and psychological exam.

Therapeutic Boarding School

Changing your teens’ housing options can help calm everyone’s tempers. If things have gotten so bad that you’re considering kicking out your teen, a break is likely in order. Kicking out a teen comes with a lot of legal baggage. Still, another option is family-friendly, ensures your legal obligations are fulfilled and can address behavioral issues. This option is to send your teen to a therapeutic boarding school is an option.

Your child will be safe, supported, and receiving the help they need, and you and other family members will once again feel safe, relaxed, and stable in your house. Your home will once again be an oasis instead of a battlefield.

To find out if our school can help your family, call us at 866-640-1899.

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