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16 years old. Thinking about running away. Help?

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  • 16 years old. Thinking about running away. Help?

    Recently, my mom left home with my younger brother to live with my older brother in his place a good bit away from home. Currently, I live with my dad, but my mom is trying to force me to live with her and go to the school there, but I am perfectly happy here where I am familiar with the area and school. She expects me to move in with her, but I love my dad, and I don't want to leave and make him lonely. I love my mom too, though, and find myself having to choose between them. I think the best thing to do in this situation would be to emancipate myself, so I can choose my own path rather than just do what my mom wants me to for no good reason. How would I go about emancipating myself? I don't have my driver's license yet, but I am on the right path to get one. I have a strong work ethic, and I know I can hold down a steady job.

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are interested in emancipation. We are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not unfortunately. Laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18. Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. The court will also factor in the mental and physical welfare of your parents in order to establish your best interest. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. Once you are emancipated, you can legally choose where you live, but you might still find that you cannot sign a lease or build credit until you turn 18. The emancipation process can take several months or up to a year, and may cost money in the form of court fees and other expenses. Usually, the best way to learn about emancipation in your state is to contact a lawyer. You may also find information at your county family court. We can look up legal aid resources that may be able to help you with the process. Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you have questions, need legal resources, or need to talk. We can explore your situation, go over all your options, and come up with a plan and resources to deal with your situation over the phone or on live chat. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
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    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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