As of 2014, in the state of North Carolina, a minor aged 16 or older may file a petition for emancipation and legally begin supporting himself. Age 18 is considered the legal age of adulthood, at which point no legal action is necessary for a teenager to live on his own.
The exception to this statute is minors who are legally married, which North Carolina allows at age 16. If the would-be wife is pregnant or has given birth, marriage due to pregnancy can take place as young as 14. In these cases, the married couple is legally able to cohabitate together. Regardless of the nature of the marriage, a parent or legal guardian must provide written consent.
Emancipated minors and minors who enter into marriages are able to enter into any adult contract and take action on their own behalf as if they were adults. If legally binding agreements are entered into, the minor in question must provide proof of his emancipation at the time of signing. This includes any contractual agreements, financial documents, lawsuits, rental leases or employment documentation. Emancipation does not provide a minor with the right to vote, the ability to legally purchase tobacco or alcohol products, or the ability to enter any establishment with a posted age restriction.