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Im 16 years old currently living in New York, how do I go to seek emancipation?

New York, NY |

I used to live in Florida with my mother and stepfather who physically abused me often. After our last physical encounter they sent me here to live with my dad. I have a family friend in Florida who wants to take me in so I can finish my education in Florida since I have scholarships available in Florida. My mother still has legal custody of me and refuses to let me live with a friend but I don't want to return to the house with my mother to get abused again. My father agrees on letting me live with a family friend but my mother is holding me back. How can I terminate her rights or emancipate myself so I can finish my education? I want to get this fixed as soon as possible so I dont miss anymore school. Please Help.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Where there any prior orders of custody or visitation issued in Florida? If no, then if you've been living in NY for more than 6 months, your father can file for custody here. Then if he wins custody (which he should), he can then make that call. In any event, you and/or your father are encouraged to call a NYC Child Custody lawyer to schedule a follow-up consultation.

* If you found my answer to be helpful, or the "best answer," please feel free to mark it accordingly.



There were no prior custody issues besides when my mother won full custody at the time of the divorce 7 years ago. However I have only been living in New York for 2 weeks.

David Ivan Bliven

David Ivan Bliven


You would still need to have your father ultimately petition for custody (most likely he'd need to file in Florida). That said, I continue to encourage you and/or your father to schedule a consultation. *If you found my answer to be the "best answer," I would appreciate it if you mark it accordingly.


You can declare emancipated and move out, however if your mother objects then you may have to stay under her custody until you turn 18 years old (age of majority).

From the Unified Court System website:

In New York State, a child is entitled to be supported by his or her parents until the age of 21. However, if the child is under 21 years of age, and is married, or self-supporting, or in the military, the child is considered to be "emancipated" and the parents' support obligation ends.
A child may also be considered "emancipated" if he or she is between 17 and 21, leaves the parents' home and refuses to obey the parents' reasonable commands.


See the web site below for some information on emancipation:

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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