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How can you become emancipated?

Clifton Park, NY |

My 15 year old boyfriend is tired of living at home with his mother. She is an unfit mother in his eyes. She leaves him home alone with his 9 year old brother at night in a strange new place. He does not feel comfortable with it because it is a new place. She does it so she can go driving around with her boyfriend. She also hits him and his younger brother when things dont go her way. She never lets him leave the house and keeps him from his friends and never listens to him. He trys to have grown up conversations with his mother but she always replys as "i am not listening or dealing with your moods, stop cring and grow up i dont care about your happiness." He calls me up cring all the time saying his mother emotionally and physically abuses him. He just wants out. How can he do that?

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Attorney answers 4


He can go to court nad make a motion for emancipation but how will he support himself if the Judge grants it? Is he going to get a job? Or pay rent? Buy clothes and school suupplies, etc. etc. etc.???

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Since he is my boyfriend I will help him get on his feet but i dont know how the judge will feel about that. What is your option?


It would be very difficult for your 15 year old boyfriend to become emancipated if not impossible. He or you can always make a report to child protective services who will investigate and if there is a basis bring a neglect petition or provide services.

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This advice is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship and is a general anwer to the question posed.


The term emancipation applies to youth over the age of 16 and:

(1) living separate and apart from their parents;
(2) not receiving any financial support from them (except by court order or benefits to which they are entitled, i.e. Social Security);
(3) living beyond the parent's custody and control; and,
(4) not in foster care.

Emancipation involves the renunciation of the legal obligations of a parent and the surrender of parental rights over the child. It may occur when a parent is unwilling or unable to meet his/her obligations to one's child or when a child refuses to comply with the reasonable rules of a parent and leaves home.

In New York State, there is no Emancipation Statute or court proceeding in which an Order of Emancipation can be obtained. In New York, the status of a youth as an Emancipated Minor depends on the facts. Whether an Emancipated Minor has the same rights as an adult depends upon the relevant law.


While your boyfriend could file in Family Court to be declared emancipated, he will need to show (among other things) that he fully supports himself. I doubt that is the case. The resolution your boyfriend needs is to stop the abuse. To do this, he should call the Child Protective Services Child Abuse hotline. They should be able to help him and his brother.

This advice is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship and is a general answer to the question posed.