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  1. #1
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Do Parents Have to Support a Minor Child Who Was Emancipated by Marriage

    My question involves juvenile law in the State of: Wisconsin
    My daughter was married at the age of 16 last October. She has been in trouble with the law, tried to poison our animals and kept running away from home, doing drugs and stealing stuff from us (like I-pods and phones). We then signed for her to get married to her 18 year old boyfriend. She now wants to get a divorce. She is supervised by a Social Worker and she is in Custody at the moment for another crime she committed. The Social Worker seems to want us to step back up and take her into our home. We have other children to worry about and we still have animals as well. We don't trust her and really don't want her here. Can the social worker force us to take her back? Is there a way they can make the courts reverse her emancipation? I'm worried.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    Is there a way they can make the courts reverse her emancipation?
    It's not a matter of "making" the courts do anything. If her marriage ends, so does her emancipation, and you resume responsibility for her.

    Why would you have allowed her to marry so young to begin with? To get her out of your hair? You need to get the entire family into counseling - her included - to prepare for her re-integration into family life, and so you can learn how to deal with a rebellious teenager. Communication and boundaries are key.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    I don't know the laws....I wonder if there is a way to force her into a rehab facility or juvenile detention. Might be expensive but worth it.

    If she does come back to the home it sounds like she will need very strict supervision. Seriously, as in the family counseling as Missy suggested; and very strict rules - no iPod, no computer, no cell phone, drive her to/from school and work, literally escort her in and out of the school, etc. Remove the bedroom door, put alarms on the doors and windows so she can't sneak out. A trip to Planned Parenthood for birth control so you don't have a rebellious and PREGNANT teen on your hands.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    Actually Wisconsin Law states that she is emancipated even IF she gets divorced. We have been in counseling since she was little. We allowed her to get married cause we thought if we let her do this she will quit running and we may actually have a relationship with her. I have 3 adult kids who are decent individuals (even her sister who struggles with the same mental health issues she does) and two younger kids who I have to think about when I think about what to do with her. Our family just started getting back to a routine and not so stressed out when she called me to turn herself in to the authorities. I'm not an inapt parent. Just at a loss with her. She has Bipolar Disorder and possibly Psychopathic tendencies (hence trying to kill our animals). But really I shouldn't have to defend my parenting here. I just asked a LEGAL question and would appreciate a LEGAL answer from someone who actually knows Wisconsin Law. I KNOW she will stay emancipated when she gets a divorce, just don't know if a court can reverse this without consent from parent and minor. I know it can be reversed if both the parent and minor agree to. Oh and I'm not rich. I wish I could afford alarms on my doors!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    Rather than bitching at the person who made a few suggestions, I would recommend you speak to an attorney in your local area, in person.

    You don't have to alarm the whole house. Home Depot and Lowe's carry some very inexpensive alarms that can on a single window or door.

    If this daughter does sneak out, call the cops, and also ask for a Psychiatric Hold under the Baker Act.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    Quote Quoting Roadangel
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    Actually Wisconsin Law states that she is emancipated even IF she gets divorced.
    No, it does not. There is no general Wisconsin emancipation statute. There are specific statutes, such as when parental notification is required for a minor's abortion, which provide that once married a minor no longer needs to notify a parent, but that's a world apart from a statute stating that the same holds true across the board. Similarly, there is provision that ends a guardianship of the person for a person upon marriage. In fact, the need for such a provision could be taken as an argument that, absent a special statutory provision, marriage-based emancipation ends upon divorce or even separation. For example, no such exception is included in Wis. Statutes Sec. 765.001(1) relating to the parental duty to support minor children. Similarly, no such exception is included in Wis. Statutes Sec. 938.275, relating to a parent's obligation to contribute to the expenses incurred by the state when holding a juvenile in custody.

    You may find that a judge agrees with you, but without a statute or case law to support your position I make no promises.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    Tried the hold, the cops here won't do it. They said she wasn't in danger of hurting herself or others (I guess dogs don't count and drugs don't count as endangering yourself either) They also don't have a psych unit for children. When we did admit her in psych a while back, she went to a facility 2 hours from here. And yes, I would have to alarm the whole house (tried the real loud noisy alarms that are cheap and she took the batteries out). Got several quotes on alarm systems in the past when she was still with us and then decided it was kind of dumb anyway, cause by the time I get out of bed and try to get her she would already be gone anyway. She used to sneak out when we were sleeping and even took off while "taking a shower" once (out of the bathroom window). I put this in the legal advice column cause I thought I would get legal advice. I've been getting counseling from professionals since I adopted her at age 4 so don't really need parenting advice. Everything a normal person can think of pretty much has been tried and we are frustrated here with the legal system because they don't do nothing but smack them on the hand and let them back out. We tried to find a place like military school which is only available for her if she was to want to go by herself (what good does that do). And I'm sorry If I sound like I'm bitching at a person trying to give me unsolicited advice, but like I said... I've had enough of that in the 12 years I've been parenting her and nothing seems to work, even the stuff the professionals gave us. She's not much of a drug addict, just a pot smoker, but in my house that is not ok and I don't want my other kids to do that.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    Excuse me, but when you came here asking for advice, you were soliciting advice. I am trying to give help from a laymans point.

    Again, go see a local lawyer about what can be done. Do you have to take her back in or can you refuse to? What rights do have as parents? Make sure the lawyer knows she was adopted into a loving home, but has her mental issues that make it difficult to raise her, make sure the lawyer knows of her crimes, history of running away, pot smoking.

    If you don't have to take her back in, remember also that you do not have to give her things you paid for such as her bed, dresser, clothes, computer.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    Quote Quoting Roadangel
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    I've been getting counseling from professionals since I adopted her at age 4 so don't really need parenting advice.

    Evidently you do need parenting advice.

    You're of course welcome to speak with a local attorney about the nuances of dumping your child.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    6

    Default Re: Can a Social Worker Force a Parent to Take an Emancipated Child Back in

    I did call a lawyer now. Thought this was legal advice, so that's why I tried this first. Sorry if I stepped on toes. Like I said.. didn't realize this was just a advice column.. I needed legal advice! She IS emancipated and a divorce can take a long time here in Wisconsin cause there's a waiting period to begin with. Once she gets divorced she's still emancipated, but the lawyer didn't know if the court can at that point ask for child support (which I don't really care about that part I just don't want her back in the house) or reverse the emancipation if they feel she's not fit to be on her own. She said she would have to research that if I needed the answer for that in the future and then I would have to pay. but as for now I guess I don't have to worry about it. She will have to get a divorce from her husband first. And for those of you who judge me.. walk in my shoes first. You will humble tremendously. I used to be one of you..always thinking it's the parents' fault if a child turns out bad... giving advice to people who were (in my book) bad parents. Sometimes.. IT IS NOT the parents fault!! We've done everything in our power to raise a good productive child. Now we do everything in our power to protect the rest of the flock. We still support her, just not in our home!!

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