When is my child declared independent?

A child becomes legally independent at age 18 (in a few states, age 21 ). Some factors may contribute to a child’s obtaining independence before their eighteenth birthday include: entering into the United States Military Service, getting married, becoming financially independent, or obtaining a permanent residence away from either parent.

At this point the child has the legal right to chose with whom they wish to live with, which may be neither the mother or the father.