Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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She wants to be totally independent...

My daughter who is 16 keeps getting out of control. She wants to be totally independent and wants to emancipate herself. Last week she got her cell phone turned off because she would not physically give it to me, so I found out I could get on the website and deactivate it. So she went out and bought a phone and month-to-month service. I had told her not to. But long story short, her dad physically took the phone from her as well as her old phone, which ended in her calling the cops. They arrived, interviewed us all separately, and then told she had to follow our rules. My problem is that this isn't first time we have had the cops to our home.

How do I get my husband to not fly off the handle and get into a physical situation with our daughter? He has never hit her, but she has been very defiant and won't budge and that is when all hell breaks. I don't even know if anything I am typing here is making sense, but I don't know what to do. I have started reading your book, being told by others I should get her evaluated, go to counseling. We have done all this and it seems to work for a short while but then all falls apart again. My husband doesn’t think he is part of the problem. I know that we can handle how we talk to our kids better and I keep asking him show our kids what he wants done, don't just tell them. Thank you for your time.


Hi L.,

Re: Emancipation—

Please forward the info below to your daughter.

To L___’s Daughter:

Emancipation is only one of several alternatives available to you if you feel you cannot live with your parents. You may want to consider other options such as:

·an informal agreement with your parents allowing you to live outside your home
·family counseling or mediation service between you and your parents
·living with another responsible adult (aunt, uncle, grandparent, or family friend)
·seeking assistance from public and private agencies

Although the emancipation procedure is not exactly "divorcing" one's parents, it is a method whereby a minor can become free of his or her parents' control and responsibility. However, if there are statements on your petition that are not true or if you become unable to support yourself, the court may set aside the Declaration of Emancipation.

In some states, certain forms need to be completed and filed with the court. Minimally, a minor must show he or she (1) is at least 14 years of age; (2) willingly wants to live away from home with the consent or acquiescence of his or her parents; (3) can manage his or her own finances; and (4) has a legitimate source of income. The court must also be convinced that emancipation would not be contrary to the minor's "best interests."

Only the minor himself or herself may petition the court for emancipation. Some of the information that must be submitted with the petition includes a statement explaining the minor's current living situation, why the minor wants to be emancipated and by what means he or she is financially self-sufficient. Usually, the judge will insist that the minor must receive income from his or her own resources, such as wages, and not from the government (e.g. welfare). The judge is also likely to be concerned with existing medical coverage and other insurance coverage of the minor.

Minors are usually required to notify their parents about the petition for emancipation, but if the minor does not wish to, he or she is required to state in full detail the reasons why.

Once the petition and supporting papers are filed, the court can approve or deny the petition without a hearing, but more often sets the matter for a hearing. At the hearing, the judge is primarily interested in verifying that the emancipation is not contrary to the minor's best interests. If the judge is satisfied and the other requirements have been met, the court will approve a final document called the Declaration of Emancipation.

The minor will need to keep copies of the Declaration of Emancipation to submit to employers, landlords, doctors, school officials, and anyone else who might otherwise require parental consent.

Likewise, the emancipated minor may submit certain legal forms to the California Department of Motor Vehicles along with a certified copy of the Declaration of Emancipation so the minor's driver's license or identification card will show that he or she is emancipated.

Should circumstances change at any point in time after the Declaration of Emancipation is signed by the judge, the court does have the ability to revoke the order and notify the minor's parents of the revocation.

Good Luck,


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