After High School: Legal Next Steps

Planning for the next steps after high school graduation, including the college application process, can be stressful. After graduation occurs, many parents feel as though they are finally finished. Their child is ready to move on to the next phase of life, the hard work seems over, and the focus moves to enjoying a summer together and packing for the big transition at summer’s end.  However, many families are not aware of important legal issues affecting their 18-21 year-olds, including those who will be entering college, taking a gap year, entering the military, or pursuing other career opportunities. A few measures taken by parents and young adults can avoid potential problems come next year.

Most children entering college, or pursuing other activities, are at least 18 years old and for most purposes they are legally “adults.” This means that parents no longer have the same access to information or control over their children after age 18. Proper planning for the legal issues that arise with an 18 – 21 year old child can help bring some peace of mind.

Here are some of the things parents should consider:

Graduating from high school is an important time and full of transitions, both obvious and not-so-obvious.