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North Carolina Juvenile Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: I am a minor seeking emancipation. I still live with my parents. Must I be moved out before I can be emancipated?

My parents will not let me leave. I live in NC, I am 16 with a job. I have a place to go. I have read that I need to be moved out and have lived in that location for a certain period of time before being emancipated, is this true?

Melissa Averett
Melissa Averett answered on Oct 23, 2020

Technically no. Although it helps. Here's an article that I wrote with all the details. https://averettfamilylaw.com/?s=Emancipation

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can my mom do this?...

I am 16 and have an almost 1 year old child. I have a restraining order against the father and isn’t allowed to see me or my son. My mom doesnt like my current boyfriend (not my child’s father) and kicked me out and refuses to let me see my son and has been letting the dad see him even though... Read more »

Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser answered on Oct 9, 2020

Your mother's actions may not be entirely legal per se but this is good 'ol boy North Carolina and I highly doubt any court or Judge would give her any 'legal punishments' as you put it based on what you have described. The bottom line is you are a child and if you won't... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: I was wondering if my friends parents can get in trouble for letting me stay with them?

im 17, live in north carolina, and ran away from home. My mom wants me to come back and i know she cant do anything to get me but i was wondering if she could get my friends parents in trouble for letting me stay with them. i read something about "harboring" but i dont know if this is... Read more »

Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser answered on Sep 9, 2020

You are still a child (at least until you turn 18) so your parents certainly can do something to make you return home. As to your friends parents getting into trouble, it is not likely but certainly possible as they are likely committing several crimes such as contributing to the delinquency of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Personal Injury and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can i get emancipated from her?

Hello I have a mother who is borderline emotionally abusive, she tells me i make everyone miserable constantly, blames me for everything that goes wrong and more. I am 16, can I move out and live with a friend legally. Can i get emancipated from her?

Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow answered on Aug 28, 2020

Maybe, but these aren't easy actions to 'win' and it would be something you wouldn't be able to do yourself. To able to file, you have to be 16 (check) and have lived in the same county for 6 months (don't know). To successfully emancipate yourself, you are going to have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law and Criminal Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can a 17 year old date a 24 year old in NC and not get into trouble? And will He go to jail if they have a baby ?

I’m 17 and my boyfriend is 24 and we had a baby together but we left his name off Because we was worried he’d get into trouble and get locked up and I don’t want that because I love him and I might be pregnant again with him and I want to be with him but I don’t know if they will throw him... Read more »

Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser answered on Jul 20, 2020

A 17 year old is still a child, so yes, you can date if your parents allow it. 16 is the age of consent in North Carolina so unless you were having sex prior to being 16, he won't get into any criminal trouble or be 'thrown into jail (at least likely not for getting you pregnant) - so he... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: 14 and pregnant being kick out?

My friend is 14 and pregnant shes cant tell her parents because theyll kick her out like they did to her older sister a few years ago and i dont know how to help

Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser answered on Jul 16, 2020

Parents are obligated to support their children and are not allowed to unilaterally 'kick them out' without risking being charged criminally. All the 14 year old would need to do is call local law enforcement or DSS if the parents attempt to kick her out and that will put a stop to that.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: I’m a16 year old mother, I have a job and another safe place to go at the moment I’m living with my dad

It’s not a good situation we don’t get a long and he doesn’t want to help me get to work so I can start supporting my family and getting my life together the place I can go to will help me can I just take my kid and go what are my rights

Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser answered on Jul 4, 2020

You are a child and won't be able to freely decide (or at least as freely as any one in society can) the course of your life until you are 18 or emancipated. So assuming you want to limit your current options to your legal options (which is what someone with a family of their own ought to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: My little sister has ran away from her foster home. CPS has been at my house multiple times looking for her.

Dss will not stop coming to my house looking for my little sister. I willing let them in to look the first time after that I would not let them back in. They then took papers out on me for "contribute to del of a minor" what should I do ? No proof of anything just hearsay. Also can they... Read more »

Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser answered on May 22, 2020

My experience with DSS workers is not good. They often seem to gleefully abuse their power based on the flimsiest of evidence or even just their own bias and prejudice. Typically speaking you should never cooperate with DSS. As to what you should do now, you could likely benefit from a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Support and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: Is it illegal for a 15 year old in NC to leave home without parent consent?

By leave home I mean go to a friends house and be back by state curfew.

Melissa Averett
Melissa Averett answered on Apr 10, 2020

It's certainly illegal based on the COVID-19 rules to stay home unless you are an essential worker or going to an essential workplace, such as a grocery store, to conduct business.... Regardless of your age.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: My 17 year old daughter thinks that she can hang out with who she wants and stay where she wants to live. I disagree

She thinks she can stay with her dad who is a immigrant. She thinks she can go to whatever school she wants and does not have to follow my rules.

Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Apr 5, 2020

She is still a minor under NC law, unless she has filed a petition to emancipate herself, which is difficult to prove and she would have to show she can provide for herself without assistance, has employment, and a place to live, and is not merely a recalcitrant teenager.

At 18 she will...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: Hi My son is 14 and got his 15 yo girlfriend pregnant- what are his rights- should I hire an attorney-
Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Mar 18, 2020

yes, and as a minor he will need to have a guardian ad litem appointed as he cannot contract for himself. usually that would be you as his parent.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: I need a good child custody lawyer who is willing to fight using facts against local DSS's deceit and lies...

I live in Wilkes County, North Carolina. The case is also in Wilkes. I will discuss what the case is about in detail upon finding the lawyer I need but it involves a whole lot of hearsay over actual facts. There have been a ridiculous 6 or 7 calls made to DSS, all questionable and none were... Read more »

Amanda Bowden Houser
Amanda Bowden Houser answered on Feb 20, 2020

Your big mistake was cooperating with DSS. The time to have hired an attorney was prior to making that very bad decision. However, you still need an attorney and ASAP but you need a local attorney. So your best bet is to shop around locally - most of the attorneys here will not be able to assist... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: Hello I am 16 years old and live wirh my dad and stepmom. My dad stays high and drunk every night when he gets home.

My step mom stays high all day too on any kind of pill she can get and does meth sometimes with her friend while me and my brother babysit her friends kid. My dad has hit me multiple times, he cussed me out and tells me he hates me all the

Time. My step mom is either passed out high or when... Read more »

Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Jan 28, 2020

Sorry to hear you are in such a bad situation. You are doing the correct thing and are entitled to a safe and secure home, free from substance abuse and violence. Things you can do:

1) report the activity to your school counselor and resource office.

2) call the Department of...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: My daughter was babysitting for her aunt and she beat her up she did defend herself she’s 17. What should I do

She repeatedly slapped my daughter in the face she had her by the throat. My daughter want to know if they will report her to dad she has to children that I believe may have seen it she is worried about the kids but that she will get in trouble for hitting her back

Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Jan 12, 2020

If daughter was not the aggressor and didnt start the altercation, and if she has injuries, then go to the magistrates office and take out assault charges. Nothing prevents aunt from doing the same thing.

Clearly this is an unhealthy family relationship, and I would sever contact until it...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Juvenile Law and Criminal Law for North Carolina on
Q: My mom is filing ungovernable youth charges against me. Do I have any rights as a minor?

Her reason for the ungovernable charge was that I am disrespectful and I do what I want when I want. About ten days ago. She slapped me, so hard I couldn’t hear out of my ear. That entire side of my face went numb. Then I yelled at her that I hated her and hit her arm. When she called the police,... Read more »

Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Dec 4, 2019

You have a right to an attorney and one should be appointed to you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Juvenile Law and Criminal Law for North Carolina on
Q: My sister is 17 and out mother pressed charges on her and she is currently locked up. I need to know how this all works.

Can someone other then her parent or guardian bail her out?

Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Nov 24, 2019

Anyone can post the bail money for a person. But be careful interjecting in this situation. If your sister is a minor, its unlikely they would hold her on much of a bond unless the charges were serious.

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1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: What is the age for a student to dropout in Rutherford NC?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Nov 1, 2019

A North Carolina attorney familiar with education law, or an educational administrator could probably tell you. But your question remains open for three weeks. Don't drop out. You don't need an attorney to tell you that. Finish school and get a diploma, or things are so bad at your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: I live in NC currently and my son is in TN. Father and I are married but he is MIA, grandma won’t let me get child.

Father is on drugs and not been seen in awhile. I would like to get my son out of a toxic situation, am I legally aloud to do so even though he as been with grandparents for 6 months? Do they have any rights? I’ve not been served any papers or anything like that. Father and child both reside in... Read more »

Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Oct 24, 2019

As a biological parent, you have a paramount right to the physical custody of your children, unless those rights have been terminated or you have been found to be unfit. I suggest you retrieve your child immediately to avoid arguments that you have abandoned the child or abbrogated your rights,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Juvenile Law for North Carolina on
Q: My nephew in PA in a bad home situation. Child Youth are doing nothing. He’s 15, what happens if he runs away!

He’s a good kid and doesn’t deserve the crap life he’s been dealt. I live in NC and want to take care of him. If it’s kept very under wraps, could we get away with it? I’m scared if she doesn’t seriously hurt him, he will hurt himself.

Adam Bull
Adam Bull answered on Oct 24, 2019

first, any legal action will need to be done in PA as that is where he lives. You can make a report to child protective services but it sounds like that has not effected the desired outcome.

He potentially can file to become an emancipated minor which if granted would allow him to decide...
Read more »

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