Emancipation of a minor is a legal process that releases a person under the age of 18 years old from the control and care of his or her parents. Once emancipated, the law would consider you an adult, and you could make decisions without your parents’ consent. You would also be the one responsible for making decisions that involve your finances, shelter, and food.
How Do I Get Emancipated?
Specific requirements for emancipation differ from one state to another. For instance, you could get emancipated at 14 years old in California, but you could only get emancipated at the age of 16 in the Washington State, explains a top family attorney in Kent. But there are certain factors that all states consider when reviewing an application for emancipation, these include:
- Your maturity level—whether you could make sound decisions for yourself;
- Your ability to support yourself financially, presently and in the long term;
- Whether you’re currently living with your parents;
- Whether you made plans to live somewhere else and with whom; and
- Whether you’ve already graduated or are still attending school.
If your application for emancipation has been approved, you would be legally considered an adult and be given pretty much the same privileges and rights as adults. Your parents would no longer be legally liable for your care, including providing proper food, shelter, and medical care. However, you’d still be unable to vote, purchase and drink alcohol, get a driving license if under the legal driving age, and quit school until the age requires as per state law. Note also that in select states, you could apply for emancipation if you’re joining the army or want to get married.
Other Vital Things to Really Think About
It’s immensely crucial to note that the court could cancel or revoke your emancipated status and put you back under the custody of your parents. Common reasons for revocation include the following:
- If you get convicted of a crime;
- If you could no longer care for and support yourself; and
- If you lied in any way during your hearing for emancipation.
Trying to get emancipated is a long and arduous road, even if getting approved might be all worth it in the end. That being said, if you’re considering applying for emancipation, you should discuss your plans with an experienced family law attorney so that you understand your state requirements and increase the chances of getting your application approved.