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Leaving Home – Child Support, ID and Belongings

Do my parents have to support me?

In general, your parents/caregivers must provide support until you are 18 years old; or longer if you are enrolled in school full time, or you have a disability and can not live independently.

If you are 16 or older, and you were forced to leave home due to abuse, neglect, or being kicked out, you can seek child support from your parents/ caregivers.

The amount of support you will be given is based on the income of your parents/caregivers, and not based on what you need.

You can apply to Legal Aid Ontario for a Legal Aid Certificate to pay a lawyer to help you seek child support from your parents/caregivers.

What can I take when I leave home?

If you have withdrawn from parental/caregiver control (voluntarily or involuntarily), you have a right to take all of your personal property with you whether you bought it yourself or it was given to you as a gift.

This includes all identification such as your health card, birth certificate and passport. These documents are very important and you should take them with you.

If your parents/caregivers are refusing to let you take your own property, you can contact the police or a lawyer for help. You can also ask a family member or friend to help pick up your property for you. 

What if my parents or caregivers refuse to give me my belongings?

You are legally entitled to your identification and belongings. Parents/caregivers can be sued for not returning these to you. Call JFCY for legal advice and assistance.

You can also ask a youth worker or other support person to write a letter to your parents/caregivers to ask for your belongings back. 

Sample letter:

<Today’s date>

Dear ________,

I am ________. I was consulted by <young person’s name> regarding their personal belongings that are currently in your possession. On their behalf, I request the return of the following items:

1. Health card

2. Passport

3. Clothing:

4. Electronics:

5. …

These items are their legal property. You have no legal authority to withhold them. It is important that they have their identity documents.

We ask that you arrange to have ______’s documents and belongings securely returned to this address: <provide address>.

If we do not hear from you by ______<insert date>, I will be contacting a lawyer to give <young person’s name> legal advice in respect of the legal actions available to seek the return of their property.

Yours, {signature}

<name and title, if applicable>


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