My office has received an increase in calls from parents, siblings or other relatives trying to kick an adult child out of their house. Often, the caller has already requested that the child leave, only to receive an adamant “no” from the unwelcome person. In one instance, a mother was selling the home that she loved to move into a small, one-bedroom apartment, hoping her son would not be allowed to live there.

After a child’s loss of a job or a divorce, naturally, parents want to help, expecting the situation to be temporary, even though they say “stay as long as you want.” The caller may then explain how the child has made no efforts to move out. Why move out of the family home when you can stay there rent-free with meals included?

Why I am being informed of these situations? Because there are often allegations of emotional, physical and financial abuse. The abuse occurs very subtly, frequently creeping up on the senior parent until they find themselves in a situation that seems inescapable. For instance, I have gotten multiple calls from parents who gave spending money to their child, which eventually turned into supporting them entirely. One father almost depleted his savings trying to bail his son out of repeated financial disasters.

How do you divorce yourself from a child?

If the abuse is physical, call 911. No exception. After the police arrest him or her, file for a restraining order. Our office’s Victim Advocate Services (808-768-7400) can help with that or there are instructions online as well. You can still call the police if the abuse is financial. But depending on the circumstances, the arrest may not be immediate. Additionally, a parent can call the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i (808-536-4302) and request help getting a Writ of Ejectment. This is a legal way of kicking a child out of the house.

Why not just call the police and have the child removed for trespassing?

The police may interpret the relationship the parent and the child have as a landlord/tenant situation. In that case, the parent will have to go through the court system to evict the child from the home. The process may take a month or longer. Whatever avenue the parent decides to pursue, it is not going to be easy. And because of that difficulty, many parents choose to remain in an unhealthy environment instead of living in a stress-free, happy home. The choice is yours.

If you have questions about elder abuse, call or email:
808-768-7536 |