Evicting a Young Adult Child
Archived Q&A and Reviews
How do you force an over-18 child to move out? We thought we had his voluntary agreement to move elsewhere (5hrs. away) with friends, but he seems to be backing out of it. There is a history of explosive anger here too. Please no responses concerning whether or not we should take this step--just advice from those who have successfully done so. Thanks Anonymous
we have also struggled with needing an over-18 kid to move out, despite the fact that he said this was a huge priority. he meant to move over a year ago -- when he was barely 18, recently graduated from HS, and had not really worked before. the financial realities of living on one's own, another year of maturing, and having a full-time job for several months have brought my son to a point where he is behaving decently, and finally really is almost ready to go out on his own. he is packing boxes, even!
we went through a whole lot earlier, though, which resulted in us sending him away for over a year when he was a minor. that did give him some tools to get by on his own, and us some time to recuperate from the ''explosive anger.'' if he was acting that way now, we would change the locks and call the police if he tried to break in. [that is close to where we ended up before -- i did call the police on my own out-of-control boy, before we got him away to treatment.] there is no way we are going through that stuff again.
so, i wouldn't question your decision at all. but, here are some considerations:
1] can he support himself?
2] does he need mental health help? is he willing to try that? is there insurance to cover it? if he's in school, there might be help there.
3] if you changed the locks, where would he go? what would he do? if he would bash windows, you'd have to call the police. that might get him to some social services, but not in an ideal way. it could grab his attention, though, if you have nothing else.
4] would he consider family therapy -- where he could air his problems, and everyone else could air theirs? it doesn't have to happen with everyone in the same room all the time. a therapist might be able to negotiate boundaries and how to handle issues.
there are some programs for young adults, to help them better cope. an educational therapist might help with locating them. you can't force an adult child into these programs, but it might be a good alternative if he agrees. they are expensive, though.
depending on his issues and situation, there may be cheap or free resources. AA or NA is free. there may be free or cheap groups for other issues. job searches are easy with sites like craigslist.com, or monster.com. craigslist is great for finding housing. the more he can take control of the process of separating, the better off everyone will be.
take care. another mom