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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ah yet another legal advice thread. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I was wondering, is it possible to sue your parents even while you're underage and still under there custody?<br><br>
My mother has custody of me but I don't even have a bed at her house (sleeping on the floor, what fun!). My father made a deal with my mother that he would provide me with food since I went vegan and he's supposed to take me every other week. Thing is he always cops out and I have long periods of time where I don't have anything to eat. I call him and tell him it's time for him to get me food and he'll just give some excuse or hang up on me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:"> He doesn't provide anything else for me and even with the food he's basically giving me $160 a month, which is a lot more than he's ever given me.<br><br>
The problem is that I'm 17 which is so close to being an adult so I don't even know if I can sue for child support at this time (although I suppose technically my mother would sue).<br><br>
Any advice on what to do? Am I just being a cranky kid or is there really a problem here? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Not to sound cold or anything, but if neither of your parents are providing for you then I would suggest getting a job. You gotta eat, right?<br><br><br><br>
I don't think suing is the answer. What will that solve? It will only cause more heartache on both sides and maybe irreversable damage. Nah, take care of yourself the best you can. Remember, someday they will be old and need you. If you feel bitter towards them at that point, which I doubt you will, you can then feel some kind of justice for the way they've been treating you now by refusing them help when they need it in their older years? I think that would be sweeter than suing in my opinion.<br><br><br><br>
You situation pretty much sucks anyway you look at it.
 

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Well if they are seriously neglecting you, why not report them to social services (and get a job, so you can at least eat)? That's a crime. DOcument everything. I mean, it's good to get things like this on record. If they have more kids in the future and neglect them, then there will be a paper trail showing that this is a pattern for them.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
At least tell your school counselor, teachers, anyone who will listen. So what if you are almost 18, you are 17 right now.
 

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Regarding your diet, I agree with MsRuthieB you should find a part time job to fund your lifestyle. Having a job will give you a sense of responsiblilty and will slowly give you independance from your parents.<br><br><br><br>
What disturbs me is your lack of bed, that should be documented. Thalia is also right, get a notebook and write down all situations that show neglect. (I'm not talking about, My mommy didn't buy me MUDD jeans, document substance abuse in your precesnce, left at home for more than 2 days at a time, physical abuse) Show this notebook to your school counselor or a teacher that you trust. A trusted adult can contact Child Protective services. If CPS finds that your situation is indeed neglect, you will be removed from your parents home and made a ward of the court. Which means, you may go to another relative(if they are willing to take you) or foster care.<br><br><br><br>
BTW, the same thing would happend if you were to get a lawyer and carry out the proceedings on your own.<br><br><br><br>
Think about your situation, think about the outcomes and act accordingly...
 

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I'm definitely not taking your parents side here but rather playing devil's advocate. Is there a couch you can sleep on? Although it's uncomfortable to not have a bed to sleep in, not having a bed does not constitute neglect. And by your being almost 18, I doubt that Family Services would get involved unless there is physical abuse of some sorts occuring. It wouldn't hurt to talk to them about it though....get their advice and take it from there.
 

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In most states you can sue your parents as soon as you are 16. You can sue for emancipation (the right to live by yourself in your own house or apartment, and make all your own life choices) <b>and</b> economic support. You can demand that they pay for your living on your own. But you will have to prove in court that you are mature enough and capable of living on your own, and that you need support because you don't yet have enough education to get a good job. So prob they will want you to prove you are staying in high school till graduation, and then going on to college, in order to get monetary support from your parents.
 

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Local legal orgs that take pro bono cases may be willing to take on your case. You'll have to find them. There is the local Legal Aid Society, as well as the federally funded Law Services organizations thruout the US.
 

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Do your parents have financial problems? Or are they just neglectful. It doesn't sound like a good situation, but I think it depends on why they are acting in this way (no money for groceries...can only afford a one bedroom? they just suck?)<br><br><br><br>
I agree with getting a job. I would contact someone at social services even if is just to look into your options, if you feel you ARE being neglected.<br><br><br><br>
B
 

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Everyone keeps telling you to get a job, but what no one seems to realise is that the job market is absolutely impossible these days. I don't know if you've been trying, but even if you have probably nothing's come up...I'm almost eighteen and I have some experience, but I've been trying really hard to get a job for months and I no one's even called me back.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway. I have no legal advice, I probably know less than you do...I just wanted to make that point and offer you a hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the advice!<br><br><br><br>
Like Ama said, I'm a 17 year old who never finished HS and I'm in NYC. There are a million teens here looking for jobs who are better qualified and they haven't found anything. I've tried job searching, it's not going good. Another problem with the job scenario and something I should have pointed out was that I am a 'special ed' child. Well according to the city of NY. I have social anxiety which causes panic attacks and has actually become agoraphobia...blah blah blah <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Anyway I just thought I should mention that.<br><br><br><br>
Because I don't have a bed I tend to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and they earn about 9k a year. My mother has a good job. My father has decent job and he keeps telling me he has no money but he just came back from a 2 week pleasure vacation with a new wife! Some chick I haven't even met.<br><br><br><br>
Boy I'm rambling so imma shut up now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Like I said I just wanted everyone's advice and opinions. Thanx.<br><br><br><br>
Oh and MsRuthieB, I'm not allowed to sleep on the couch. Seriously, I got a lecture about it and am forbidden from doing so. They're new couches and my stepfather says they're only for guests.
 

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Emancipate yourself, get a job, find your own place. You might as well be an adult about it. Good luck!<br><br><br><br>
PS - sorry about receiving your parents in the lottery of life
 

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It definitely sounds like neglect to me. Document it and talk to someone you trust. Is there a community resource centre in your area? They may help provide you with food as well as counselling. Please stay in school and get your high school diploma. Education opens doors. Talk to a guidance counsellor and find out what is available in terms of college. You may qualify for bursaries or scholarships or financial aid.<br><br>
Unfortunately you got lousy parents but you are still in control of your future.
 

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Have you tried demanding a bed/futon from your mother?<br><br>
As for the food.. are you really not given any food? (ie your mother would leave you to starve - in which case, def. talk to someone now) or is it just that the food provided doesn't fit in with your beliefs? (ie not vegan)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
More good advice thanx! It's nice to be able to turn here instead of getting depressed about stuff. I'm in a much better mood. As for the bed thing I've tried asking her and she just keeps avoiding it. She says "yeah i know, we'll buy one," and then she never does. She says she wants to rearrange my brothers room first.<br><br><br><br>
While the main problem with food is the fact that I'm vegan she did leave me once for ten days while they took a family vacation (without me of course) to Florida and left me steak (I was already vegetarian) half a carton of juice and $20. I was 15. I lived on a box of instant potatoes and a pizza those ten days. My grandparents wouldn't even talk to my mother for a week after that incident. Go figure.
 

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Sounds like a really tough situation. I'm so sorry you're having to go through all of this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> I really don't have any advice to offer, I just wanted to wish you good luck, and let you know you'll be in my thoughts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Sounds like a neglectful situation. You have no bed and aren't allowed to sleep on the couch? That's insane!<br><br><br><br>
I'm with epski, if it truely is what you say it is, get in tuch with social services, or free law services and really look into your options here.<br><br><br><br>
B
 

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I might be able to help, to some slight extent. I'll have to think this thru, what way I can be of help, if any.<br><br><br><br>
Meanwhile I would suggest consulting a lawyer, one after another, until you find one that can help you sue your parents for enough support so that you can afford a decent place to live. I believe they have to support you until you are 21 in NY, or maybe it's 18, I'm not sure. If they have enough income to support you, you ought to be able to be awarded support. I'd go for emancipation, rather than stick yourself with a foster family. Don't play up your agoraphobia; that mayl make them worried about granting you emancipation.<br><br><br><br>
Don't marry anyone in order to get out of this situation. Only get marry someone if you would want to marry the person anyway, if you didn't need to, in order to have a place to live and enough food.<br><br><br><br>
Don't get pregnant in order to qualify yourself for aid to dependent children and aid to a parent of a dependendent child.<br><br><br><br>
These are frequent economic tactics of young people. But the social service system may not do a very much better job of economic support than your parents; possibly worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by soilman</i><br><br><b>I might be able to help, to some slight extent. I'll have to think this thru, what way I can be of help, if any.<br><br><br><br>
Meanwhile I would suggest consulting a lawyer, one after another, until you find one that can help you sue your parents for enough support so that you can afford a decent place to live. I believe they have to support you until you are 21 in NY, or maybe it's 18, I'm not sure. If they have enough income to support you, you ought to be able to be awarded support. I'd go for emancipation, rather than stick yourself with a foster family. Don't play up your agoraphobia; that may make them worried about granting you emancipation.<br><br><br><br>
Don't marry anyone in order to get out of this situation. Only get marry someone if you would want to marry the person anyway, if you didn't need to, in order to have a place to live and enough food.<br><br><br><br>
Don't get pregnant in order to qualify yourself for aid to dependent children and aid to a parent of a dependendent child.<br><br><br><br>
These are frequent economic tactics of young people. But the social service system may not do a very much better job of economic support than your parents; possibly worse.</b></div>
</div>
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Oh geez no, I'd never do any of that.<br><br><br><br>
Deep down I wasn't sure that there was a problem but by your responses I've come to realize that yeah, there really is. I'm actually at my grandparents house right now and plan on staying here for a while. Not sure what I'll do but I think I'm just gonna try to handle things more on my own. In other words I'm going to start looking for a job more agressively and I think I'm going to talk to my mother. I'll probably need a lawyer for my father since he thinks nothing applies to him. Thanks again guys. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p">
 

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Since you've been diagnosed as having social anxiety, you may be able to qualify for public assistance from the state in the form of disability. I don't know the rules in NY but it's worth looking into. Ask your school guidance counseler or your therapist, if you have one. That may not be something you're eligible for as long as you're under 18, if they consider your parents to make enough money at this point and you're under their care. But I do think there are resources out there that you'll be able to utilize to get on your feet. Your parents aren't being fair to you and everyone deserves something to sleep on that isn't a hard floor. Best of luck.
 
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