If you’re planning to leave the ‘home sweet home’- you are not the only one out there. And, it won’t be wrong if I say- we all wish to depart from our guardians at some point in life.
There are varied reasons for wanting to leave home. Since one thing is connected to another, circumstances will vary from person to person.
However, if you are thinking about leaving, you need to be aware of the legal age to move out in Canada.
Also, moving out entails many other concerns- jobs, education, living arrangement. Also, you need to know if there is any formal procedure to complete.
I will be answering each and everything related to leaving home in Canada.
Is 16 the Legal Age?
If you search on the internet, you will immediately find people saying- the legal age in Canada to move out is 16. Is it really? You will find out that in a while.
Take for an instance, these provinces- Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador. By law, they say- once you cross 16, you are no longer a child.
But, they might or might not know how to lead a life separated from their families. Another thing is they still will be considered as a minor.
Yet, you will be a minor. So, they are not necessarily saying- you will be an adult once you complete 16. Also, know that you will be allowed to do a few things legally once you turn 16.
Legal Age to Move Out in Canada
I just mentioned you are allowed to do some stuff legally when you are 16. For that, you can leave home in 16 if needed.
But, keep in mind, you might or might not need your parents’ consent. And, it depends on which province you are in.
What is the Law of Alberta?
The updated emancipation law in Alberta is suggesting that you can legally withdraw your guardian’s control. Once again, this law varies from province to province.
What is the Law of British Columbia?
On the other hand, the legal age to move out in Canada BC is 19. If you are under 19, you will need your parents’ permission.
What about the Other Provinces?
In most provinces, 18 and 19 are seen as the adult age. 18 is applicable for Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec.
And, 19 is for these provinces- New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Yukon, and Nunavut.
It’s basically governed by the idea of when the majority of the citizens actually are capable of supporting themselves alone.
What if You are of Legal Age and Guardians are Not Letting You Leave?
You might not feel at home for many reasons. It can be emotional, physical, or sexual. In addition, you can be lawfully freed, but your parents are stopping you.
In that case, you file a report in Children’s Aid Society. They will take the claim and investigate. But, they will ask for your permission beforehand starting with the investigation.
If you say NO, they will try to measure the danger you are in. Next, they will look for other ways to protect you from the prevailing and potential risks.
Will Your Parent Still be Supporting You?
One could be 16, and they might not feel safe at home. If so- first of all, you can leave home. Also, your parent must support you financially.
They have to ensure you have food, a living place, clothes. Also, they can just give you an allowance to fulfill your needs.
Then again, you’re 16, and you have no serious reason to move out. At that time, you can simply leave. Neither your parents are supposed to interfere, nor they have to pay for your living.
Though ending of child support in Canada varies from province to province. The least age a child can get supported is 18 and after that, the child is free from getting their parental support in Canada.
What if You and Your Parents are Already Living Apart?
You and your parent could already live apart. For example, you guys are two different provinces. And, for some reason, you still might want to be discharged from the supervision of your parents.
In that case, the legal age of moving out in the province your parents are residing will matter. Also, it’s crucial if you’re in a safe place or not.
Let’s say you are currently living in Alberta to study. And, your parents are in British Columbia.
You should already know 16 is the legal to be emancipated in Alberta. But, in BC, it’s 18. Also, think that you are not in a safe in Alberta. When considering child support regarding extra curricular activities, Both father and mother needs to pay for it. It is not obligatory to do so.
In that regard, your parents can meddle in. Because this is what the jurisdiction says in British Columbia.
Can You Take Your Belongings?
You have the right to take all of your possessions with you. And that includes anything that belongs to you- clothing, gifts, accessories, school supplies and other stuff.
Also, make sure you are taking essential documents with you. Such as- birth certificates, passports, healthcare cards and so on.
If your guardians withhold those documents, you can sue that. For that, local police, lawyers, or Child and Youth support organizations can help you retain the documents.
In case you don’t want to involve the law enforcement authority, you can request some other member of your family to collect the papers for you.
What about Registering in a School without Guardians?
You could be a minor ( i.e. 16); by law, you will have to attend school until you reach 18. You might or might not have left for a serious reason.
In other words, you might have left voluntarily and involuntarily. Whatever it is, you won’t be needing a guardian to continue school or getting admitted to a school.
But, you will have to update your new address. Also, you will asked to show the school authority some sort of proof that you are no longer under the custody of your guardians.
Will You be Able to Rent an Apartment?
Yes, you can have your own apartment. Besides, landlords can’t refuse to take you as a tenant if your area is just 16.
You will obtain funding from organizations that help children and youths. Also, they will arrange work for you. That way, you could have enough to pay for the apartment and to carry other expenses.
Is There Any Restriction in Health Care Decisions?
Primarily, you can visit doctors. But, when it comes to making serious healthcare decisions, your doctor will run an assessment to see if you’re really capable.
If they find you incapable, you will need assistance from your former guardians. But, you might not want to involve your former guardians.
Then, you can have a substitute guardian. The first step is to write a Power of Attorney letter for the person you want to fill in as your guardian.
If you are seriously planning to move out from home, the aspects I have talked about will help you. But, you must plan accordingly to be secure.
Because you don’t want to be homeless. You just want to pull out from the custodians. Before you do so know the legal age to move out in Canada for your province.
You can always take help from the local children and youth organizations. So, no worries if you face any sort of issue.