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Emancipation at 16

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  • Emancipation at 16

    I'm not sure how to put this. I, since I can remember, have made a lot of adult decisions in my life that my mother was incapable of doing. My two brothers and I have been through a lot of abuse because of her ex boyfriends, and it's caused a lot of pain and turmoil on me, at the very least. I want to get an emancipation and live on my own as to I believe I can do so, and I'm not entirely "comfortable" around my mother anymore. I have lost a lot of trust in her judgement, and I have a lot of trust issues along with, diagnosed, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. My question is, once I enroll in the court process of emancipation, what are the steps taken after that. Will I be able to leave before the trial or will I have to stay until the emancipation is declared in my favor.

    Thank you so much for the time and consideration in reading this, and thank you for what response I get.

  • #2
    Hello there, thanks for reaching out today, Sounds like you have been through so much with your mom and her ex boyfriends, and you are understandably wanting to leave that environment. You do not deserve to be treated with respect and to feel safe in your own home, and here at NRS we truly want to be a support for you during this difficult time.

    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. 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.

    It sounds like you and your brothers have been quite overwhelmed by things at home with your mom's boyfriend's and you mentioned enduring a lot of abuse. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. It may also be a good place to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody. You can always call us here at 1-800-RUNAWAY if you would like assistance reporting or if you would like to go over your options.

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

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