Emancipation

If a child does not want to be under the authority of his/her parents, he/she may petition for emancipation. Once emancipated, a child can freely make his/her own life choices and decisions. Emancipation, in effect, considers one to be an adult before reaching the age of 18. The parents are usually notified of the process when it begins.

To receive emancipation, a child must prove that he/she is of a certain age and that he/she is able to take care of himself/herself. This means that a child must prove financial stability or ability to provide shelter.

In determining whether a child deserves emancipation, the court will consider the degree to which the child can support himself/herself alone and the maturity that the child displays. Emancipation can be granted if a child is determined to be sufficiently mature so as to be able to make sound decisions and capable enough to survive alone.

Just like in child custody, the minor’s best interest is taken into account in this procedure. If a child would be better off alone (due to abuse or poor decision making by parents), emancipation is more likely to be granted. But just like custody, there are various nuances to determining what would be in the best interest of the child.

 

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