Turning 18 is a huge milestone filled with celebration and anticipation. You can smoke, vote, stay out late, go to most clubs, and join the military without parental consent. As a parent it can be an emotional time as you watch your child become an adult. Whether they are ready or not you must move from being a parent 24 hours a day to more of an advisor. Sit down with your teenager and discuss their new legal status with them so that they understand what is different.
• Any teenage legal misadventures may now lead to being charged and jailed as an adult.
• They are now eligible for Jury Duty. http://www.jud.ct.gov/jury/faq.htm
• They must now file taxes. See IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information. You can order IRS forms and publications by calling 800.829.3676 or visit www.irs.gov.
• Statutory rape laws are strange things. What’s permissible in some states means jail time in others. Enforcement is unpredictable. And the age of consent varies considerably from state to state. This is most important to address if your 18 year old is dating someone younger.
Young men must register with the National Selective Service. Fail to register and your teen faces a $250,000 fine and/or five years in jail plus the loss of student loans and any federal or state employment. http://www.sss.gov/default.htm
Driving Without Restriction
Some 47 states have graduated driving laws that restrict the hours and terms under which new, young drivers can get behind the wheel, but all driving restrictions are lifted at age 18. Adults may chat on a hands-free cell phone, drive in the middle of the night and carry passengers.
Medical Issues, Insurance, Financial privacy, report cards are no longer accessible to parents.
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