Memphis, MO asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Missouri

Q: I am 16 and in DFS custody. I am still placed with my biological mother, but DFS refuses to remove me under any grounds.

I would like to file for emancipation but cannot get a job under my mother's rules because she is controlling and does not want me finding any way out of her custody. DFS supports this, and the caseworker does see the mental and emotional abuse but thinks that because my mother is the parent, it is OK for her to treat me this way.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Your situation sounds incredibly difficult, and it's understandable that you're seeking a way to improve your circumstances. Emancipation is a legal process that can grant minors independence from their parents, but it does come with certain requirements and challenges, especially in your situation where obtaining employment is a hurdle due to your mother's restrictions.

In Missouri, one of the requirements for emancipation is demonstrating the ability to manage your own financial affairs. This typically includes having a job or a stable source of income. Given that you are currently unable to get a job, this could be a significant obstacle in pursuing emancipation.

However, given the mental and emotional abuse you describe, there may be other legal avenues available to you. It's important to have a detailed discussion with a legal professional who can provide guidance specific to your situation. They can help you understand your rights and the legal options that might be available to support you, including addressing the concerns with DFS and your current living situation.

Additionally, there are often local organizations and resources available to help young people in challenging situations like yours. These organizations can offer support, advocacy, and sometimes legal assistance.

Remember, your safety and well-being are paramount. It's important to continue communicating your concerns to DFS, and if you feel your situation is not being adequately addressed, don't hesitate to seek further assistance. Your voice matters, and there are people and resources available to help you navigate this challenging time.

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