Shelby, NC asked in Family Law for North Carolina

Q: So I’m 16 and I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to move out legally.

I don’t think there’s quite enough cause for me to get emancipated in the eyes of the law but my mental health has been affected by my family for years. My dad “borrows” and steals money quite often & he has a substance abuse issue. He’s manipulative and narcissist. I’ve told my mother and my sister about my depression and they simply don’t hear me and they genuinely do not care. My mother won’t let me get my license until I change myself (which is her way of saying to be less depressed). She’s very petty and wouldn’t even let me go to therapy unless I told her everything I would tell my therapist (which are very very personal and I haven’t even, obviously, worked through them yet). My sister is emotionally & physically abusive (21 y/o) but not enough to where I could my home a dangerous place. It’s mental draining to live with them and I can’t do it anymore. I have a job and in a month I make about 800 a month. I pretty much pay for all my groceries, student fees, my phone bill, etc.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Amanda Bowden Johnson
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  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: The short answer is without your parents consent - no. Ironically, the fact that you understand that you likely would not qualify for emancipation means that you are quite intelligent and probably are competent to be on your own or at least very close to it. If you have a place in mind that you could go to such as another family member. You may want to consider talking to your parents about simply consenting to you moving. However, if they refuse, the only legal way around that would be emancipation or someone else being granted custody or guardianship of you. The big hurdle to that is you being able to prove to the Court that you can financially provide for yourself. Otherwise, you may have to just tough it out until you turn 18. At that point, you are an adult and can do what you want. Best of luck.

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