What to do if I want to somehow emancipate myself from my father or have my mother gain sole physical custody?

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What to do if I want to somehow emancipate myself from my father or have my mother gain sole physical custody?

I am 14 years old and my parents are divorced. How can I make this happen? And, if so, how much will it cost?

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Filing for emancipation is really difficult.  You are just old enough, but would need to prove to a judge that you could financially support yourself--including transportation and housing.  Also the judge would have to find that emancipation is in your best interest.  You can read more about it here:

http://courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-emancipation.htm

Your best bet is to convince your mom to file to modify custody.  The only problem is that unless something (anything) has changed since the custody arrangement was put in place, a judge won't modify the arrangment.  Has anyone moved, changed jobs, have your grades changed, etc.?  If anything like this has changed, then she might be able to get a change in custody.  Since you are 14 the court will listen to your input.  They don't have to do what you say, but they will definitely listen to you more than they would a younger minor. 

Regardless of which parent you end up living with, I would recommend that you seek individual therapy to help cope with issues springing from your parents divorce.  Whether or not you think you need it--I think you would find it helpful.

If you happen to live in Ventura County, I would be happy to give you and your mother a free initial consultation to discuss what is going on.

Best of luck.

 


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