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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6392
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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I a have a serious situation where a 16 year old from WY is

Customer Question

I a have a serious situation where a 16 year old from WY is being physically and mentally abused- wants to come live with me in MD, but cannot legally fine for emancipation until he is 17 in WY. If he does come to MD, which jurisdiction would he be under- MD or WY- and would he be able to file for emancipation in MD, or could I file to be his guardian in MD?
JA: OK. The Family Lawyer will need to help you with this.
Customer: are they going to text me back?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: i cannot afford one
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I am trying to get him to stay where he is for now, and not run away until i know legal rights/jurisdictions etc, but I don't know how much more he will be able to handle. Child protective services in WY says that If i made a report it probally wouldn't do anything because the situation has to be much worse than it sounds like it is in his house. And he is scared what his parent would do to him if he found out a report form child protective services was made against them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi , can you give me some advice
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you able to call me at(###) ###-####
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Yes, please be patient I am in the process of formulating a response...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok we can text I don't want to pay extra for the phone call
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.


In WY it is considered a “status offense” [i.e. against the law] to run away from home if you are under 18. Even if he were to come to MD, the police are authorized to return the youth directly to his home in WY without considering his wishes. So, under these circumstance, A MD court will not likely exercise jurisdiction over the child.

In order to file to be his guardian, you would have to have a court terminate his parent-child relationship. This can be a long and difficult process. Even if a MD court accepts it, by the time that case comes to trial, he will be of age to file for emancipation in WY.

The courts in Maryland may grant emancipation if a minor marries, joins the military, demonstrates that he is living separately from the parents and has a source of income, or can show parental neglect and abuse. However, the child cannot be legally emancipated until his parents or a governmental agency petitions the court for emancipation. In MD, however, teenagers 16 and over are likely to win petitions for emancipation if they prove to the court they will be self-supporting.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if he were to come to MD, and prove to be self supporting could he file for emancipation from his parents in a MD court?
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Maryland does not allow a minor to go to court on his or her own to request emancipation. He would also need his parents' or the State of MD's to file the petition. If he simply moves to MD and becomes self-supporting then he would be considered emancipated if the parents do not seek his return within a reasonable amount of time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok what if they do seek his return but cannot find him.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

If they cannot find him and the police cannot find him, then there should be no issue. He could just wait it out till he is at the age of emancipation and apply in WY. If he applies in MD, the judge may inquiry about his parents' whereabouts and at that time it may be discovered that they have been looking for him.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but if he had been in MD would the jurisdiction to apply for emancipation be in MD ?
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

In MD, there is no written statute or court rule that sets out a procedure for emancipation. This means that judges will apply “common law”. My professional opinion is that residency will become an issue for the court as it may find that his home in WY is his place of residence. There is no clear answer to this question and I am not finding any case law on it in the free legal databases that I have.

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