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I am about to be 16 in 2 weeks & i really want to be emancipated. My step mom and i do NOT get along what so ever

Elkton, VA |

I was 5 years old when my birth mom died. My grandmother on my mom side got my haft brother and sister. I moved in with my dad and step mom. As long as i can remember me and my step mom have never got along. And i just got braces three days ago & she slaps me in the face and grabs my jaw today and pulls my hair and grabs my throat. So please please help me get emancipated. I need to know everything i can do to get away from her. Please and thank you

Attorney Answers 1

  1. What you are describing sounds like physical child abuse. You should report the physical abuse to your teachers, guidance counselor, and principal at your school. You should also report it to your deceased mother's parents (perhaps they will be willing to file a petition for custody of you) and to the authorities. The number for the child abuse hotline within the state of Virginia is 1-800-552-7096. The national Child Abuse hotline is 1-800-422-4453. You can also go to the Dept. of Social Services website at for further information on reporting child abuse and/or request for removal with them. You may also want to contact the Blue Ridge Legal Services office in Harrisonburg for assistance in defending you against domestic violence. Blue Ridge Legal Services' contact information is 1-866-534-5243.

    In order to be legally emancipated, you would need to file a petition for emancipation with the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court in the county in which you leave (from the address in the question, I am guessing that you are either in the eastern portion of Rockingham County or the Western/South portion of Page or Shenandoah counties). To find out further information regarding the preparation and filing of such a petition, you should contact the clerk's office in the appropriate county's J&DR court. In order to be granted emancipation, you will need to prove to the court that you have meet one of the following conditions:
    (i) you are legally married
    (ii) you are in the active duty of the U.S. armed services OR
    (iii) that you willingly live separate and apart from your parents or guardian, with the consent or acquiescence of the parents or guardian, and that you are (or are capable of) supporting yourself and competently managing your own financial affairs.
    A copy of the statute can be found online at

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.

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