How can I legally leave my abusive mother?

by Lauren
(Huntington Beach, CA)

I've been beaten down physically and emotionally as long as I can remember. I'm in 10th grade and 15 years old. My Principle and teachers have seen marks on me and have called law enforcement and CPS, but my mother always convinces them that I am a liar. My sister just turned 18 and moved away and hasn't seen or talked to my mom since. No one will help me!

My Dad got his rights taken away because my mom lied to the court and they believed her. He's a policeman and is my best friend. But she lies about everything. Our whole family knows she beats me but no one will testify because they are afraid of her.

How can I legally leave her before she hits me again? I'm so destroyed. Any information you can give on how I can get out of this situation would be so helpful. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "How can I legally leave my abusive mother?":

Lauren (Huntington Beach, CA):

The State of California has an Emancipation Statute for minors. Being emancipated means a child becomes free from the authority of his or her parents, and does so before the child reaches the age of eighteen (18).

Under California's Family Law, Chapter one (1) Section 7002, a minor may be emancipated from his or parents if the minor fulfills one or more of the following requirements:

- The minor has gotten married with permission from parents and the court.
- The minor has joined the armed forces with permission from parents.
- The minor has received a declaration of emancipation from a judge.

In addition, to be emancipated the minor has to be:

- At least 14 years old
- The minor must not want live with their parents; and
- The parents do not mind if the minor moves out,
- The minor can handle their own money
- The minor is employed and has a legal way to make money.

For more information on California's rules and regulations on Emancipation, read:
Legal Services for Children - Emancipation Manual

Finally, if you fulfill the above legal requirements, you may be entitled to free legal representation from Legal Services for Children, Inc. They can be reached at:

1254 Market Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
t: 415-863-3762
f: 415-863-7708

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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