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Emancipation at 17 in California

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  • Emancipation at 17 in California

    Hello, I am a 16 year old living in ******, but I turn 17 this month. I am a part of a toxic and uncomfortable environment but I am having trouble convincing my parents that they abuse me verbally and in the past physically. Over this last year (2020 and previously on numerous occasions), it has been a constant battle and they have not been responsive towards therapy. Although more recently its smaller events, I am not around them enough to get verbally abused as hard, and the physical abuse stopped after my counselor called the cops. It is not as abrassive and opressive as before this year, however I think that it is greatly in my best interest to leave my family, I don’t even consider them as family anymore after what happened. My main question is what specific steps I need to take to emancipated successfully without the consent of my parents, and what would happen if my parents just straight up refuse to sign my papers?Any advice?
    Last edited by ccsmod5; 04-07-2021, 06:38 AM.

  • #2
    Hi there,
    Thank you for reaching out, it sounds like there has been a lot going on at home for some time. We understand it can be difficult to take the step to reach out for help, we’re glad you did. Emancipation for the most part will call for needing your parents’ consent or agreement; but we can help you find a legal aid to see if there is any exception to this in your state.
    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.

    Stay Strong,
    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
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