Am I able to get emancipated?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Am I able to get emancipated?

I am 16 years old. My parents are abusive and I want to get away from them. I’m too scared to call the police because foster homes have worse conditions than what I have. They won’t let me move out.  Can I get emancipated, and can I ask my judge to not have them present at my hearing for the fear that they will harm me?

Asked on November 27, 2010 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In PA, there are no set procedures to get a declaration of emancipation from a court. However, certain events automatically result in a minor becoming emancipated. They include marriage or entry into the military. Also, a minor can be emancipated in order receive a specific benefit or service that government agencies provide; they typically have the authority to decide if a minor is emancipated for purposes of authorizing benefits/services that they administer (therefore, for those purposes only, it is not necessary for a minor to go to court to be declared emancipated).

However, in general you would have to go to court in order to become emancipated. A hearing will be held on any request for emancipation, so the court can get the necessary information to make its decision. This information includes facts showing: whether the minor is living with his/her parents or guardians; whether the minor is dependent on his/her parents for financial support; whether the parents and the minor intend for the minor to be independent; whether the parents are actually exercising control and authority over the minor; and whether the minor can financially support him/herself. 

If you are emancipated you should be aware that state law says a minor must stay in school until age 17 or until age 16 so long as the minor has a job during school hours and holds an employment certificate.  Additionally, parents or guardians of a minor emancipated by court order, are no longer required to give the minor any financial support. This means they do not have to provide food, housing, clothing or any other assistance to the minor.

At this point, you should should try and get some counseling or at least legal assistance.  Talk to your school counselor, a minister, or other trusted adult.  You can go for legal help to legal aid, a law school free clinic (if there is one close by), or contact the state/county bar association for "pro bono" (free) legal advice.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption