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What is the Emancipation of Minors?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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The emancipation of minors is the process by which a person, who is under the age at which he or she is legally an adult, becomes free of parental control and gains status similar to adulthood. This process often involves legal action, though the nature of this action depends on the country or region in which a person is attempting to become emancipated. There are a number of reasons why a minor may request emancipation, but such requests are frequently denied. The emancipation of minors often requires financial self-sufficiency and a provable claim that emancipation is in the best interests of a minor.

Minors under the legal age of majority, as established by a country or region — though often set at 18 years of age — are typically under the care and authority of a parent or guardian. The emancipation of minors, however, allows individuals under the age of majority to break from that control and care. After emancipation, a minor is free to act and behave as an adult, though other legal age restrictions typically still apply. This means that emancipated minors can enter into legal agreements and contracts, such as a rental lease on an apartment, but someone under the legal age to drive may not be able to attain a driver’s license.

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The emancipation of minors typically begins with filing a legal petition for emancipation, which usually details grievances the minor may have against parents or guardians and why he or she should be emancipated. Minors will often need to prove financial independence that would allow them to live without the financial assistance of a parent or guardian. This can be difficult for a minor to prove and establish, and the emancipation of minors is often easiest for child actors or singers with an income from performing.

Though filing a petition for emancipation can be fairly easy, it is unusual for the emancipation of minors to actually be granted. If a minor wishes to get away from an abusive home, for example, then child protective services in a given region will usually be notified. This often leads to a minor ending up in the care of a guardian appointed by the state, rather than emancipation. Minors who seek emancipation due to disagreements with parents are also typically denied. The emancipation of minors often involves young people who are earning money through some means and seeking financial and legal independence from parents who may be misusing that money.

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Discuss this Article

anon249912
Post 9

I'm 16 and want to be emancipated with my little brother and my 16 year old boyfriend. What do I do?

anon219141
Post 8

I am 15 turning 16 in a few months. I can't handle both of my parents and my life feels like crap. What would I do, if I get emancipated from my parents. I don't want to be alone. I want a new carer/guardian. What should I do?

anon218365
Post 7

I am 17 and a half. I was planning to move out and be independent. Do I have to get emancipated to move out without my parents forcing me back?

chester3
Post 6

I turn 18 in the middle of my senior year. can I move out of my parents' house or otherwise ignore them after I'm 18?

anon150711
Post 4

If I'm 16 and emancipated, and my boyfriend is 20,

can he get in any legal trouble if i was to get pregnant?

anon145225
Post 3

Can a 14 year old girl emancipate herself from her father and if so, is he required to still pay child support to the mother?

wiesen
Post 2

In this type of situation, you really should seek professional legal advice from a lawyer, especially one who is specialized in child laws. In general, however, a parent cannot typically "emancipate" a child without the child's consent.

The entire purpose of emancipation is to allow a minor to become established as an adult, which typically requires the ability by the minor to support him or herself. Without that self-sufficiency, emancipation is rarely granted.

jmth
Post 1

My daughter moved in with her dad two years ago, being brainwashed by him and his fiance, (who just filed for disability) that if his child support was increased that they would have to sell the house and move to a trailer park.

After she moved in, the marriage took place, and as I told her, things changed. She wants to move back with me, but she said her dad would have her emancipated. Can someone just comment on this so she knows this cannot happen? She is 15 and a good girl. She is scared to death.

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