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Most teenagers think that they live under tyrannical rule at some point, dreaming of the day they finally turn 18 and can leave the house so they can live their life their way. What do parents know, right? While we can all smile at them and remember when we felt that way about our parents, we should also remember that there are children and young adults who actually live in unhappy homes and dream of leaving.

They won’t look back fondly on their childhood with nostalgic warmth; they’ll look back happily on the day they left, if they ever do. For young adults who need to leave an abusive home, they need to turn to the legal practice of emancipation with the help of a Portland family law attorney.

In order to qualify for emancipation, you must be at least 16 years old. If you are 16, you need to contact a Beaverton family law attorney to help you with the appropriate paperwork requesting emancipation and pay the associated fees to the court system (which are non-refundable). Once the papers are filed, the parents of the teen in question will be notified about the request for emancipation. Afterwards, the courts will review the details of the case to determine if emancipation is in the best interest of the child.

Alternatively, emancipation can be used by parents to separate themselves from a difficult, violent, or criminal child. Similar to how teens cannot ask to be emancipated simply because they’re angry at their parents, the parents, in turn, cannot file for emancipation from their child just because they’re upset with them. Families go through tiffs and fights, it’s a part of growing up together. It’s when abuse, whether emotional and/or physical, is in the picture, that emancipation becomes a reasonable solution.

When emancipation is filed, the courts must consider the following:

  • Do all parties consent to the emancipation?
  • Can the child handle their own affairs such as finding a home, paying bills, etc., without any assistance?
  • Can the child support themselves financially?

If all of these criteria are met, the courts will dissolve the relationship between parent and child; from then on, the child will be seen as a legal adult in the eyes of the law and must get all proper documents, such as a driver’s license, or state ID. With this adulthood comes some drawbacks, such as now being charged as an adult, versus as a juvenile should they get into any legal issues.

If you are a teen suffering in an abusive home, or a parent with no options left to guide a violent and/or criminal teen, contact our offices immediately to discuss your emancipation options and if they are right for you. We’re here to help.