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What Age Can You Legally Move Out in Missouri

What Age Can You Legally Move Out in Missouri?

Moving out of your parents’ house and gaining independence is a significant milestone in many young adults’ lives. However, it’s essential to understand the legal aspects surrounding this decision, especially regarding the age at which you can legally move out. In the state of Missouri, the age at which you can legally move out depends on various factors, including your age, parental consent, and whether you are considered emancipated by a court. This article will explore these aspects in detail, providing you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Age of Majority in Missouri:

In Missouri, the age of majority, which is the legal age at which an individual is considered an adult, is 18 years old. Once you reach this age, you are legally entitled to make decisions for yourself, including the choice to move out of your parents’ house without their consent. However, it’s important to note that even if you are under 18, there are certain circumstances in which you may still be able to move out legally.


Emancipation is a legal process that allows minors to gain legal independence from their parents or guardians. If a court grants emancipation, it means that the minor is considered legally responsible for themselves and no longer under the control or care of their parents. In Missouri, there is no specific statute for emancipation; however, the state recognizes common law emancipation.

Common law emancipation occurs when a minor demonstrates that they are self-supporting and capable of making independent decisions. This can include having a steady job, paying bills, and living independently. If a court determines that a minor meets these criteria, they may be granted emancipation, allowing them to move out legally before reaching the age of majority.

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Parental Consent:

If you are under the age of 18 and do not meet the requirements for emancipation, you will need parental consent to move out legally in Missouri. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your parents about your desire to move out and discuss the reasons behind it. If your parents are supportive, they can provide written consent, allowing you to move out before turning 18. However, it’s crucial to remember that even with parental consent, you may still face challenges, such as finding a place to live and financial stability.


1. Can I move out at 17 in Missouri?
Yes, you can move out at 17 in Missouri with parental consent or through the process of emancipation.

2. Is there a specific procedure for emancipation in Missouri?
Missouri does not have a specific statute outlining the process of emancipation. Instead, common law emancipation is recognized, requiring the minor to demonstrate self-support and independent decision-making capabilities.

3. Can I move out at 18 without parental consent?
Yes, once you turn 18, you can move out without parental consent as you are considered an adult under the law.

4. What challenges might I face if I move out before turning 18?
Moving out before turning 18 can present several challenges, such as finding housing, securing employment, and managing finances independently.

5. Can I be forced to return home after moving out with parental consent?
If you move out with parental consent before turning 18, your parents cannot force you to return home. However, it’s important to consider maintaining a good relationship with your parents, as they may still provide support and guidance during this transition.

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In conclusion, the legal age at which you can move out in Missouri primarily depends on reaching the age of majority, which is 18. However, there are exceptions such as emancipation and parental consent, which can allow individuals under 18 to move out legally. It’s crucial to consider the practical and financial implications of moving out and have open communication with your parents to ensure a smooth transition into independence.

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