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  • Emancipation

    Hi. I am a 15 year old girl in Indiana. I was adopted by my Aunt and Uncle when I was 8 years old. Ever since then, I have been emotionally abused and have been through some rough times because of it. I have depression and last summer in June or July I tried to commit suicide. One of my bestfriends mothers who knows almost everything that goes on at home told me about emancipation so I've been doing a lot of research for the past year and decided that it was the best option for me. The only problem is, is that even with all the research I have done, I still do not quite understand the process of it? I understand that if the judges accept me to be emancipated I'll have to take care of myself with my own money and that but I don't understand how to find a lawyer or how to get the forms and how to fill them out. I desperately need some adult help on this because even though my friends want to help and are trying to, they just don't understand either and the adult who I mentioned earlier cannot help me because I am not allowed to hang out with that bestfriend outside of school. So if I could please get some help, that would be really nice. Thank you!

  • #2
    Hi there,
    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.

    If you’d like additional support or resources please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours, 7 days a week or chat with us online by going to
    Take care,
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