Easley, SC asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for South Carolina

Q: Are there any cases in SC where 15 yr old can be emancipated?

In the case where the biological mother is a drug abuser and the biological father has criminal domestic violence charges can a 15 1/2 year old female become emancipated? She can show where she will be financiallly cared for by another family willing to have her live with them.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman

A: Assuming that you are the 15 1/2 year old female, I would recommend going to a lawyer immediately. I would expect that you could find a lawyer who might help pro bono. Check out http://www.theparentingplacepca.org, which is an organization in the city you listed (Easley, SC). You might also consider contacting, http://safeharborsc.org/, and asking them for either help or a lawyer.

With that said, here is an law review article that touches on the question you asked: "This Note argues that foster children should be granted the right to initiate termination proceedings, and hence the opportunity to make out a prima facie case for severing the rights of their natural parents when those responsible for their welfare fail to do so." http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2524&context=clr

That article is about foster children, but it gives you an idea of how complicated this area of law can be.

There have been some high profile cases where children seek to terminate the rights of their natural parents, but it is not a well-developed area of law.

Finally, if you are 15 1/2 years old, you could be a potential victim of all sorts of things such as drug dealers or forced prostitution or even abuse at the hands of other people. I saw this to emphasize that if you are in trouble, you should call the police immediately and ask for help. And, again, I think you should try to find a lawyer in your city to help you. Search for lawyers who know about family law. You can also call South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS), which provides free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina. (864) 679-3232


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