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Emancipation

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Definition:

Emancipation of a minor is the procedure by which a minor is freed from parental control. Emancipation is not available in all states.

How Does a Minor Become Emancipated?

A minor can generally become emancipated by one of the following:
  • Reaching the age of majority.

  • Military enlistment which requires parental consent.

  • Marriage which requires parental consent.

  • Court decree which often requires parental consent.
    • If a teen wants to be emancipated, he/she should contact an attorney or the local county clerk's office to see what the procedure is. In the case of physical or emotional abuse, we recommend contacting the police or the state social services department.

      Most states require proof of adequate income, proof of residence, and other documentation along with showing an ability to pay the fees and court costs of the emancipation petition.

What Rights are Given to an Emancipated Minor?

The rights given to an emancipated minor depends on the laws of the state where the minor resides.

Most ights granted to emancipated minors include:

  • The right to enter into a binding contract such as buying and selling real estate and acquiring a loan.

  • The right to give own consent for health care.

  • The right to make personal decisions about where to live and work, where to get educated, how to spend income, etc.

The right to drink and the right to vote are not granted to emancipated minors.

Can an Emancipated Minor get Married?

Whether or not an emancipated minor can get married without parental or court approval depends on the laws of the state where the minor lives.

If a state considers marriage to be a binding contract, emancipated minors can get married.

Other states do not allow an emancipated minor to marry without permission from parents or the court.

Pronunciation: e·man·ci·pa·tion
Also Known As: Complete emancipation, partial emancipation
Common Misspellings: emancapation, amancipation
Examples:
The 15 year-old girl could not understand why the court refused her emancipation petition.

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