Emancipation of a minor is a court procedure releasing an individual under 18 years old from parental control. After a minor is viewed in the eyes of the law as an adult, they can make decisions without consent of their parents. Emancipation also includes the minor making financial decisions involving financial support, food, and shelter.
What Are the Requirements for Emancipating a Minor?
The specific requirements vary by state. For example, a minor in California can be emancipated when they are 14 years old. In Texas, a minor must wait until they are at least 16 years old. However, there are some factors that are considered in all states:
- The minor’s ability to financially support themselves now and in the future
- Whether the minor is currently living with their parents
- Whether the minor made arrangements to live with someone else
- If the minor can make decisions for themselves
- If the minor is attending school or has graduated
- The minor’s maturity level
What Happens after the Emancipated Is Granted?
The minor is considered an adult with all the rights and privileges an adult has. Also, the parents are no longer responsible for caring for the minor, such as providing adequate shelter and proper medical attention.
Is There Anything I Cannot Do after I Am Emancipated?
Yes. Although the minor is viewed as an adult, they still cannot:
- Obtain a driver’s license if they are otherwise under the legal age
- Buy alcohol
- Drink alcohol
- Leave school until the age indicated by state law
Is It Necessary to Go to Court to Become Emancipated?
No. In some states, a minor can also become emancipated in two other ways:
- Join the military
- Get married
Can My Emancipation Be Revoked after It Is Granted?
Yes. Emancipation can be revoked or canceled by court order. The minor is then placed back in the parents’ custody. Emancipation can be revoked when the minor:
- Can no longer support themselves
- Is convicted of a crime
- Lied to the court during the emancipation hearing
Do I Need to Talk to a Lawyer about Emancipation Requirements?
Becoming emancipated is a long and difficult process, even though achieving emancipation may be completely worth it in the end. If you are considering filing for emancipation, you should contact a family law lawyer about the emancipation requirements for your state to understand more about the topic and to figure out what you need to do in order to meet those requirements.