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I'm a 16 year old U.S. citizen. My mother is forcing me to move to another country, but she will not be with me. Is this legal?

Houston, TX |

My mother and I don't always see eye to eye, however I am enrolled in high school in the U.S. and feel that, perhaps, my rights as a citizen outweigh my legal guardian's right to force me out of the country.

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Attorney answers 4


Not an immigration law question.

Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


As a minor ( a person under age 18) you are subject to your parent's supervision (and control). Your parents or parent is responsible for your well-being, safety and schooling. It is a solemn obligation taken very seriously by the law and the courts. Unless and until a court discharges a parent of his/her obligations they are legally liable for your care and supervision.

In some rare instances the courts have allowed a minor to become "Emancipated"--to assume their own responsibility for their own care. In order for a court to allow such a legal severance of the parental duties a petition must be file before a court of competent jurisdiction (usually a Juvenile court) and a hearing or series of hearings will be held. In order to qualify for a legal emancipation:
You must be married, or
You must be in the U.S. armed forces, or
You must be living apart from your parents or guardian and be managing your own money and attending school regularly, or
The court must decide that emancipation is in the best interests of you, or your parents, or your minor child (if you have any).

You should consult with a lawyer. If you need a lawyer to start this process or to defend yourself and you cannot afford one, the juvenile court or probate court may appoint one for you at no charge.
Here is a link to a website that give you a preliminary and summary review of the process.

I implore you to consider very carefully taking action in this manner, and speak to a lawyer specializing in juvenile law before taking any action.

Good luck.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney


This is not an immigration question.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


I don't believe a child has the right to countermand a parent. You need to sit down with your father and get a full perspective. The fact that you are going this far only exemplifies the conflict between you and your mother - - unfortunate!