What Does The Law Say?
Parents cannot just kick children out of their homes. The Family Law Act 1975 is very clear about this: parents have a responsibility to care for their children until they are considered adults.
If a parent fails to do this, they can be legally charged with child abandonment, which carries a fine, jail time, and likely removal of the child from their custody. If you’re a minor and you’ve been kicked out of home, you can actually contact the police or protective services and they will help you sort out the situation.
With that said, according to Youth Law Australia, if the child in question is over the age of 16, parents can legally put them in the care of a responsible party. If they decide to do this, they still have to provide for and communicate with their child until they turn 18.
Can Parents Kick You Out If You’re Over 18?
But what if you’ve reached adulthood? Can parents legally kick you out if you’re over 18? As it turns out, they certainly can. When you’re officially considered an adult at 18, there is no law in place that specifies a need to care for you after that point.
If you’re a legal adult, your parents can ask you to leave home whenever they like. If you decide to refuse, your parents now have an array of legal options to force you to vacate the premises. You can be prosecuted with charges of squatting, breaking and entering, or even threat of bodily harm. It may sound a little heartless, but that’s how the law works. Parents have rights too!
If I’m Kicked Out, Where Can I Go?
If you’re a minor and you get kicked out of home, contacting Centrelink can help you get in touch with people that can help you find your feet after you leave home. There will be a lot of paperwork, an official inquiry, and the police may get involved.
Here are a list of resources and people you can contact in case you need help:
- Link2Home (for NSW)
- First Point (for ACT)
- Shelterme (for NT)
- Safe Steps (for VIC)
- Brisbane Youth Service (for QLD)
- Housing Connect (for TAS)
- Helping Young People Achieve (for SA)
- Homelessness Australia (for WA)
If the situation is an emergency, call the local police or authorities.
Can I Move Out Of Home If I’m Under 18?
According to Youth Law Australia, “The law does not set a minimum age for leaving home. This means that if you have your parents’ permission and a safe place to go, you can leave home.”
All you need is your parent’s permission and the proper documentation for wherever you’re staying, and you can live by yourself before you turn 18. You still need to keep in touch with your folks (and they’re still obligated by law to support you however they can) but you can already live on your own.
So there you have it: your parents CAN kick you out of home, but only under very specific circumstances. If there ever comes a time when you need to leave home, know that there are people and organisations willing to help!