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  • Bad Situation

    I'm 16, turning 17 in October and live in California. My home life has been really bad for as long as i can remember. I've been in therapy since I was 4 and been over 30+ therapists and nothing helps and nothing seems to work. I've been trying to get a job, but the first time i almost got employed my adopted mom screwed it up for me and nobody has reacher out to hire me since. I've thought of so many ways to get away, from running away , to emancipation, etc. I'm in my last year in high school and I want to get emancipated. I've done some research, but i am still not sure about what the process is or what the pros and cons are. I hope someone can explain it to me so I know what I'm getting into and what to expect.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to NRS!

    We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on. It’s brave of you to reach out during your time of need. If you wanted to talk more about your situation, we’re always here.

    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.

    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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