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I want to emancipate at 17 so I can work

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  • I want to emancipate at 17 so I can work

    I’m 17 and want to be emancipated so I can work without having to be limited by my parent’s financial problems. My dad got an early retirement at 40 some 2 years ago, because of a workplace injury. My mother hasn’t worked all my life, she stopped right before I (2nd child) was born. So now we live off social security benefits or something, for the retirement of my father. With the pandemic, however, something has changed and I really don’t understand much. Basically we get food stamps if we stay below some household income margin. If we earn any more than that number, we lost some benefits. I started to work recently, and my parents were well aware I have been looking for a job on and off for a year. I got an interview, and got the job. That day is when my parents decided to tell me they were about to be getting more social security benefits and that the household income number thing would increase and be closer to the margin before they lose benefits (They had to explain it all because I truly had no clue what anything meant, and frankly I still don’t). Now they have to reduce the amount of time i work (which is already very limited because of my school’s work permit permissions) or else they will lose their free benefits. I just want to work the most amount of time I can, I want to earn my own money and save up for college and my own future. My parents say they want me to work, but then actively ridicule me for valuing my low level job. I want to just part ways, I want to emancipate from their problems because none of this seems to be in my hands. If I work the maximum amount of time I legally can, my parents will lose. If I work the even more restricted hours my parents want, I risk the employer just being disinterested in how little I can work, and I’ll be earning less money for myself. None of this is fair towards me. At the same time I see it’s unfair towards them, except I see the simple solution of letting me emancipate so we can just get out of each other's ways. However, in this economy and in this pamdemic it’d be expensive for me to try to rent someplace. I would then have to chose between struggling for myself or struggling for my parents. I want to just struggle by myself. My parents also bring up those points and how I know nothing and will sink on my own. And i just say alright. They clearly have failed to teach me how to not fail financially, and judging how they’ve gone bankrupt three times (one being about a few months before the pandemic) I see no way they could ever teach me anything on how to survive on my own in the next 11 months before I am 18. They act like they didn’t have to learn at some point. I just want to feel what providing for myself is like, I want to go through it already because what is the point in waiting if right now it will be the exact same thing as a year from now. Is there anything we can do? Any way I can keep working how long I want? Or any way I could convince them to let me go? I sound ungrateful, or at least they make me feel that way, I just want to get out of other people’s business and be on my own. Emancipation would mean I am not their legal problem, and they won’t be my extra limitation.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like things with your parents are really hard at home, and things are more stressful due to the pandemic and changing conditions with benefits. It must feel really frustrating to have gotten a great job and then feel like you cannot do what you want to feel independent and successful because of the limitations you mentioned. It sounds like you have done so much to meet your goals despite things being really difficult.

    At NRS, we are not legal experts but we could provide you with some resources to assist you with looking into emancipation. It sounds like you have thought about this decision for a while, and are considering what it would be like to live on your own. So that we can have more context to what you are asking, we encourage you to reach out to us by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. If you reach out to us directly, we could provide you with resources that would assist you based on your state's laws and guidance related to living on your own at 17. Depending on your state, this may be a helpful resource to get some of your questions answered before you decide to call back - https://www.homelessyouth.org/en/

    We can work with you to gather information that might be helpful so that you can weigh your options and make a plan.

    Best,

    NRS
    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
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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