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A really tough situation (need help)

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  • A really tough situation (need help)

    I am 18 years old and my girlfriend is 16 year olds, turning 17 in July. She previously lived with her father in, Wisconsin who also has sole custody of her. She was kicked out of her home by her father and now lives in Illinois with her mother and her mothers fiance. She was physically, mentally, and verbally abused by her father and he kicked her out of his home in Wisconsin because he's selfish and does not know how to care for a child. While at her mothers, she is mentally and verbally abused, and just recently her mothers fiance has put her through phyiscal abuse for the first time. I want her to be in a safe environment and the only place we have decided that would be good for her is in Maryland with me. I've done a lot of research to help her out. Since her father has custody of her, I'm assuming emancipation laws apply to where her father lives which is Wisconsin. In Wisconsin they don't do emancipation often or at all. The only way I've found is through marriage which needs parental consent (Unless with judicial bypass of parental consent?). How can we legally move her out and live with me & my family safely, because she is endanger and neither of us want her in a foster/group home. She has contacted CPS in the past and they haven't been much help at all. My family also would approve and welcome her of staying here.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us on behalf of your girlfriend. It sounds like she has not had a stable living environment and is looking to live somewhere safe as soon as possible. She is lucky to have someone who cares and who is willing to advocate for her.

    Generally speaking, emancipation can be a lengthy and difficult process. It usually involves filing a petition and proving to a judge that the individual is living independently and financially supporting themselves. Like you mentioned, Wisconsin does not have a formal emancipation statute so it would likely be very difficult for your girlfriend to be emancipated. We are not legal experts ourselves, but we are happy to connect you with legal aide resources if you call our hotline at 1-800-786-2929.

    It does sound like your girlfriend's father has not done much in terms of forcing her back home. He does have the right to report her as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but if her father knows where she is then he can have police return her home. If he has not filed a runaway report then your girlfriend could live somewhere else without police intervention. Although she would not be considered an adult or legally emancipated, she could choose to live somewhere else that is safe. It is understandable that your girlfriend has lost trust with CPS, but she can still make another report to document the ongoing abuse and neglect. There is an organization called Child Help that advocates for young people in abusive and unsafe situations. She can contact them at 1-800-422-4453 or go to to talk with someone about her options and what CPS might do to intervene.

    You and your girlfriend are welcome to reach out anytime to talk more about her situation and explore her options. We are available by phone and live chat services 24/7.

    Good 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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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