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  • Standard Emancipation Information

    This forum is often visited by teens looking for information on how to become emancipated. It is not a simple process. Here is some info, and the other adults on this forum will contribute by adding/subtracting to the list.

    There are only three ways to become emancipated.

    You must:

    1. Join the military (but you must be 17 to be eligible to join, and there is always the possibility that the military will say no for various reasons.) And, at the age of 17, a minor still needs parental consent to enlist in the armed services.

    or

    2. Get married. To get married, you need your parents’ permission, although in some states you can get married without your parents’ permission if the female is pregnant or has given birth, which means you take on the expenses not just for yourself, but for a child as well. To be married w/o parental consent, whether pregnant or not, the minor still needs a court order in EVERY state in order to marry.

    or

    3. Have your parent’s permission. To do this, a parent must tell the court that they no longer wish to have control over the child and are willing to relinquish his/her rights and obligations to the minor, AND the minor must prove to be self-sufficient.

    To become emancipated WITHOUT any of the above, the child must be able to prove that either the parent has abandoned the child, OR the parent mistreats the child.

    Mistreating does NOT include arguments, discipline, enforcement of rules (curfew, grounding, limited time on computer or cell phones), dictating who the child may associate with, or requiring the child to perform household chores. Mistreating DOES include parental abuse (physical or mental), neglect or failure to support.


    When applying for emancipation, the petition needs the following information:
    1. The name, address, residence, and date of birth of the minor.
    2. The name, address, and current location of each of the minor's parents, if known.
    3. The name, date of birth, custody, and location of any children born to the minor.
    4. A statement of the minor's character, habits, education, income, and mental capacity for business.
    5. A plan for success, i.e., an explanation of how the needs of the minor with respect to food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and other necessities will be met.
    6. Whether the minor is a party to or the subject of a pending judicial proceeding.
    7. A statement of the reason why the court should grant emancipation.

    If the minor does not have the permission of BOTH parents for emancipation, then the parent who has NOT consented must be served with the petition, so to be made aware of the process.


    The plan for success must include explanations for how the minor meet the following needs:

    1. Shelter (rent AND utilities)
    2. Food
    3. Clothing
    4. Medical Care (securing medical insurance)
    5. Transportation
    6. Living necessities (toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and other “sundries.”)
    7. School supplies
    8. Furniture

    The minor must also consider how s/he will pay for the following non-necessities:
    1. Phone (cell and/or land line)
    2. Television
    3. Entertainment
    4. Computer/internet access


    When applying for housing, remember that a landlord may be reluctant to rent to a minor despite their emancipation status. In this case, a landlord can protect him/herself by asking the minor to find an adult to co-sign the lease. If any problems occur, the landlord can pursue the adult for the unpaid rent or other problems. So minors may still need an adult to help them secure housing.

    Employers are bound by child labor laws, so a minor will not be allowed to work full time at a single job, despite emancipation status, until s/he reaches the age of 18.

    Emancipated minors are required to remain in school full time until they reach the age of 18.

    If emancipation is granted, the minor will have the status of an adult for purposes of all criminal and civil laws.

    And, last but not least, if the state does NOT have statutes or case law allowing for emancipation, it is not an option. You cannot file for emancipation in another state that you may wish to move to once emancipated.

    If you do not have parental consent for legal emancipation, the odds of it being granted are nil.


    Emancipation is really designed for two types of minors: the very very rich, and the very very poor. Rich children (and by rich I mean children who have EARNED their money, like actors, singers, celebrities, etc., not children who come from money) sometimes need emancipation because they need to be in charge of their own circumstances. Even for these cases it is rare (Think LeAnn Rimes -- she could NOT get emancipated no matter how hard she tried) and when it does happen, it is often to the minor's detrament (Think MacCauley Culkin and Drew Barrymore -- both achieved emancipation, but could not actually handle their adult responsibilities and became addicts).

    For the very, very poor, I am actually speaking of the homeless. Often, a homeless teenager is already making very adult decisions. It is in their best interest that they be on their own, because entering them into foster care is counterproductive.

    There are other circumstances for teens who are victims of abuse, but in general, those teens will become wards of the state instead of being emancipated.

  • #2
    Emancipation IS NOT AVAILABLE in the following states:

    Arizona
    Arkansas
    Delaware
    Idaho
    Indiana
    Iowa
    Kentucky
    Minnesota
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Nebraska
    New Jersey
    New York
    North Dakota
    Ohio
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    Utah
    Wisconsin
    Dist. Of Columbia

    Even if your state is not on this list, that may not mean that they have statutes for emancipation. Some states (Colorado for example) recognize the definition of "emancipated minor" in their codes, but there is no process for a minor to become emancipated.

    If you are looking for emancipation because of an abusive situation, you need to call child protective services or ask a school counselor or trusted adult to become involved. If you are not comfortable talking with anyone face to face, you can all 1-800-4-A-CHILD toll free from any payphone. That is the hotline for Childhelp, a national organization that will help you every step of the way.

    If you are seeking emancipation because you and your parents just don't get along, you have a job and you think you are ready to be on your own, search for your state at the following link:

    http://www.jlc.org/index.php/factsheets/emancipationus

    If you can't figure out what you are reading, you are not ready to be a grown up. If you can, congratulations! You are smart. And after reading it, you are also aware that you don't qualify for emancipation. Go home and hug your parents.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you to Mommyof4 and MomofBoys for the information listed. I have made the thread a "sticky" so that it stays at the top for easy access.

      Comment


      • #4
        Cool.

        I would like my new nickname to be "Sticky."

        Comment


        • #5
          ....and mine can be "post it".
          HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
          How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
          (unique up on him)
          How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
          (same way)

          Comment


          • #6
            BA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!! You guys are a riot. Seriously though, there are so many kids out there that want to be emancipated. Some to be with thier boyfriends, which a judge will NEVER allow, even if he is rich, and says he will take good care of her. Having a child does not make you emancipated either, it only makes you the decision maker when it comes to the health of you and your unborn child, so please do not go and get pregnant just so you can move out, you can't, and it could lead to you getting your child taken away by the state. That is all I think I can add on this, and if you guys allready said it, sorry, didn't realize. Great sticky you guys! Thanks Demartian for making it show up on top!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              now we have to find a new name for turbo.
              HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
              How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
              (unique up on him)
              How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
              (same way)

              Comment


              • #8
                Tee hee name away, if I don't think of one first.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Elmer...as in glue.
                  HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                  How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                  (unique up on him)
                  How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                  (same way)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mommyof4 View Post
                    Elmer...as in glue.
                    Awww, that sounds like Fudd could be added any time lol!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      See, I didn't even think of that. Somebody we all know and love has been watching too many Bugs Bunny cartoons.


                      Fine...how about "Super"?
                      HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                      How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                      (unique up on him)
                      How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                      (same way)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mommyof4 View Post
                        See, I didn't even think of that. Somebody we all know and love has been watching too many Bugs Bunny cartoons.


                        Fine...how about "Super"?
                        Woo hoo, I like it! Hey we are not at the top anymore, I thought the stickys stay there lol!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not to run away from the "sticky" discussion, but I found a new resource for the emancipation laws by state...

                          http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/Ta...ancipation.htm
                          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you cyjeff, that is very helpful information!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank You

                              thank you so much...that is EXACTLY what i needed...but i do have just 1 question...i don't live with my biological parents...they say smacking me around is just tough discipline...i really really want this emancipation...How can i convince both to just let me go...please i could use all the help i could get...i wrote a letter to them but i haven't given it to them yet...do u think u could read it and let me know what to do? i can send it to u in a private message if u would. please?

                              Comment

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