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My 16 year old moved out voluntarily...
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My 16 year old moved out voluntarily...

Hello everyone. I am looking to get some information regarding a situation with my 16 year old son. I live in the state of New York and at 16 a child can legally move out of their parents home (I verified this with family youth services). Needless to say my son turned 16 and a month later he moved out and went to live with my mother. It was a mutual decision between the two of them and off he went. I didn't put up a big fight because over the last 9 years my son has made our lives hell to the point that he had broken things and put holes in the wall and the police had to be called. When my son moved in with my mother I signed a form that I found online giving her permission to bring him to doctors, enroll him in school, etc. Now after four months of being with her I have received court papers in the mail regarding custody. My mother now wants custody. I did not give up my child and as far as the courts are concerned right now I have custody. When my son told me he was moving out, even though I was against it, I informed him that I would not pay anyone to support him. He and my mother Had both gone behind my back and planned for him to move out and then sprung it on me. I did tell him that I would continue to pay for his medical and dental, medicine, clothing, and shoes, and any medical copays he has but would not send money to him or my mother. Now that she has decided to take things further and try to get custody, will she then be able to get child support? If he can legally move out at 16, even though I am responsible for him in many ways, does she have the right to get child support from me? I just received the court papers for custody today so first thing Tuesday morning I will be calling my lawyer but I wanted to see what information I could find out here. And please if you don't make comments about my parenting skills and how to raise my children. I have 5 children (all boys) ranging from 13-22 and my 16 year old is the only one that feels like life at home is terrible and he shouldn't have to live here. Thank you in advance for any information or advice you can give.
4 Comments Post a Comment
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134578_tn?1404951303
I hope someone sees this who lives in New York and has dealt with this exact situation, since every state's laws are so different.  It seems logical that if your son moved out on his own accord (and given that it is legal for a 16-year-old to leave), he has essentially emancipated himself.  (And therefore you shouldn't be forced to pay child support.)  Sometimes the law follows logic, so try to stay hopeful.  Anyway, your lawyer is obviously your best bet.   I hope you hear from someone on this site too in the meantime.
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134578_tn?1404951303
Here is what I found on another site when I googled the question of whether an emancipated minor in New York can sue for child support.
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Emancipation of Juveniles in New York State

There is NO official court process in New York State for a youth to be declared "emancipated". Unlike some other states, New York does not issue so-called "emancipation orders." A determination of emancipation is "ancillary" to some other proceeding. That means that as part of another proceeding a finding may be made that a youth is emancipated, but only with regards to that particular proceeding. For example, the filing of a support petition in Family Court may result in an order declaring a youth to be emancipated, but only with respect to a party's obligation to support the youth.

Support Obligation:

Children are deemed "emancipated" and parents no longer have an obligation to support them if children become economically independent of parents through employment, entry into military service, or marriage, and may also be deemed constructively emancipated if, without cause, they withdraw from parental control and supervision.

Under the "withdrawal from parental control doctrine," a child who is not financially self-sufficient may nevertheless be deemed emancipated so as to relieve the parents of their support obligation if he or she abandons the parental home without sufficient cause and refuses to comply with reasonable parental demands.

Where a child leaves home for good cause or with approval of the custodial parent, a child retains his/her right to support from their parent.
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So, clearly, what is going to happen is that the argument is going to hinge on whether or not your son had sufficient cause to abandon the parental home.  Talk to your lawyer about what constitutes "sufficient cause" in the eyes of the court.

Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much for the information. I now feel a bit more confident going into this. The information that you found was very helpful for me and hopefully will be during all of this. This is all new to me and every bit of information I get definitely helps. Thank you again. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much for the information. I now feel a bit more confident going into this. The information that you found was very helpful for me and hopefully will be during all of this. This is all new to me and every bit of information I get definitely helps. Thank you again. :)
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