Emancipation 26

About: Emancipation

Granting Legal Independence to a Minor

The term “emancipation” refers to the release of legal responsbility for another person. In family court, emancipation is a legal process where a minor is released from parental control and the parents relinquish any legal responsibility for the child. In general, the various state emancipation laws require an emancipated minor to:

  • Be living on his/her own, away from parents and financially independent; or
  • Be married; or
  • Be in the U.S. military; or
  • Present other circumstances that the court considers to be justification for ordering emancipation.

This is most common circumstance is in cases where the child has moved out of the parents’ home and has become financially independent. However, it is also frequently granted when a minor marries or joins a branch of the military.

Emancipation can result from a mutual agreement between the parents and the child or it can be ordered by the court, in spite of the parents’ objections if the child can show that they are no longer reliant on the parents for support. Emancipation also occurs when the child reaches the age of majority (usually 18) unless the parents can show that the child is mentally unfit to care for himself / herself.

Should emancipation be granted, the parents are no longer responsible for the child’s care and well-being and have no authority over the child’s decisions, finances or property. The emancipated minor has rights and responsibilities that other minors do not.

Emancipation FAQ’s:


  • Bre

    I am 17 years old and in depression. I may also be pregnant and there’s a lot of stress that comes from living with my parents. I have a boyfriend that is out of school and buying a house. If I got a job…would I be able to move out of my parents house and into my boyfriend’s?

  • Emerald

    I am staying with my boyfriend right now because my mom and I aren’t on speaking terms due to a verbal fight (one of the many that happen in that household). I have a 2 month old daughter and I am trying to get back into school. My mother is being difficult as to helping me with anything. I am only 15 right now [Dec.29.10] but I turn 16 on Jan.10.11. Do I have to wait until I turn 16? Or can I already do so?

  • Annonomis

    im 15 and i will be 16 in august. my bf is getting a place, and i want to move in with him legally how do i do this?? how long wat do i need?

  • Shyann

    I am dating a guy who is a senior in the same school I am at. He is turning 19 really soon and I am turning 16. We have done some things that my parents definately will not agree with. Plus, I may also be pregnant. What should I do about getting emancipated?

    • Jade

      Simply be honest with your mom… Ask her to look over facts about emancipated on the internet, and see how he feels. U MUST WORK!Offer her the option of being in the childs life but let her know of your need of independence. Please understand that when putting another person ie. Boyfriend into the pic ur still being dependent…keep in mind that it may not work out but believe in love. Another huge step n better ur chance of

  • Kasey

    I’m 17, I’m gonna be a senior this up fall. I have a job, but my home life is giving me a lot more stress than before, my parents and I always argue now. I want to move to Texas where my boyfriend lives; he’s 18, he has a job, and a house. But the problem is I live in North Dakota. I’m trying to find ways to ask my parents to let me go, because it’s for the best. I’m not pregnant or anything. I just think that the way I’m treated at my house is too much to handle.

  • Josh

    I’m fifteen 6 months from being 16 my mom has beat me in the past but hasn’t In a long time their is still alot of negativity towards Me and their barely scraping by with their financials I’m about to get a job and be able to drive and I’m sick and tired of living with these people to the point I can’t see straight do you think these are reasonable reasons to get emancipated and if so what will I need to do to get approved and please don’t post the laws I know them I just need to know if it’s reasonable and can I get it done

  • Bre

    I`m 15 and 8 monthes pregnant. I live with my boyfriend and his parents. I want too know how too become emancipated.

  • Shayna

    ok im 13 i know thats young but trust me its very nessisary
    i have a bestfriend whos family has supported me since kindergarden! also i have a job and always pay for my own stuff.
    i have never had sopport from my mom dont get me wrong i love my mom but she just isnt the right person I B=NEED HELP SOMEONE PLEASE FILL ME IN

  • Jennifer

    I live in a house were my parents treat my brothers way different than they treat me. I am constantly getting yelled at. my mom has hit me a few times before but hasnt in a while. there is so much stress living at this house and my boyfriend is getting worried about me. i have been with him for about 13 months now and im 2 months pregnant! my parents wont let me talk to him at all and they want me to get an abortion as soon as possible. i keep telling them i dont want that i want to keep my baby! they dont understand that! i have a job and my boyfriends parents have offered for me to move in. what will i have to do to get myself emancipated?

  • Angelynn

    I’m 16 and will be 17 on January 5th. I’m unhappy with living with my parents. Their divorced and my dad and I fight all the time over stupid things and I have no desire to make a better relationship with him. I am completely different from both my parents and neither of them understand me. I know this sounds like a typical teenager but I can’t stand living there. My boyfriend lives in MA and hes 18 and lives with his parents. I’m so happy when im there because our friends live close by. I have no friends where i live because the people are here have no common sense and either smoke or drink. His parents said im welcome to live there whenever i am able to. I live in NH and apparently there is no emancipation law. Is there any other way I could find a way to leave once I’m 17? I’m looking for jobs near where he lives to give his parents money when i live there and to pay for food and such. Please, if their are any answers E-mail me. I can’t stand it here.

  • dylan

    if im 17 can I be emanipated and and move in with my gf and her parents?

  • Angellica Collins

    I am 15 and I am pregnant. My mother has banned the father from seeing his child at all. ma and him want to get married because well we have been together for a long time. He’s banned from the household and banned from seeing me. I want to be emancipated and find a job but soon the father of my kid will be working and earning close to 400 dollars a week. My mother has stressed me out and cause a lot of mental abuse and I have become very depressed. She has been trying to drag me to indiana and make tthe father lose all his rights to his kid. she also is trying to find a way to put MY child up for adoption and give all my rights away. I have been trying for the past 6 months to find out if I am legally able to get emancipated from her. I need information ASAP

  • YoungANDclueless123

    Okay, I’m 16 will be 17 in about 3 1/2 months. I am also pregnant, my boyfriend is 18. I told my grandparents (whom I live with) that I am pregnant and they want me to get an abortion. That isn’t something I am even going to concider. I live in Oregon and I want to move in with my boyfriends family because they are being more supportive And my grandparents won’t let me see my boyfriend or his grandma. They live in the next town over and just got a huge new house aith room for me And the baby. At first my grandpa kicked me out but then said I am not going to see my boyfriend and I could stay. I want to leave, how can I do this?

  • Ebonique

    I’m 15 . I’ll be 16 on June 5th , I am being emotionally abused by my mother and I’m pregnant ! my boyfriend ( been together for 13 months ) is 18 and has a job . I will be getting a job this summer . I want to look into getting legally emancipated . I libe in Lafayette louisian and I don’t feel that me and my child are safe around my mother .. PLEASE , somebody help !

  • alicia

    Im 16 and will be 17 in september. I have a job and a place to stay. I have been having problems and fights with my family almost everyday…my mother has never hit me but is always yelling at me calling me names and cutting me down…i have a thirteen yearold sister who dose the same thing…i have developed depression and cant stand my surroundings anymore…and my mom refuses to emancipate me…is there anyway possable i can emancipate myself?? Please help!!

  • anonymous

    I am 16 years old. I have a job and pay for all of my things. my parents have borrowed money numerous times from me and have never paid me back. They will not let me get my permit, ID or licence. They are verbally and sometimes physically and mentally abusive. I am engaged but i can no longer take living at home with my parents. My parents are also abusive to my younger sister who is 13 years old. My fiance who is 19 and has an apartment, said that he will try and help in any way he can. I live in Lebanon Tennessee, and my fiance lives in Murfreesboro, which is about 45 minutes away. I have been beaten, and nearly stabbed with different kinds of knifes and chased around the house with them as well, that has happened by my mother. My dad and I had gotten into a fight and he threatened to kill me and my fiance. His words exactly were, “I don’t care, you make me mad or try anything, I’ll push your ass right off a fucking cliff. I don’t care, I’ll kill you if I have to, I’ll sit in jail for the rest of my life, I don’t give a shit. and Ill kill you fiance too, I’ll throw is ass through the wall” I shouldn’t have to come home from work wondering if I’ll get beat, get stabbed, or threatened. I asked my mom if i could go to the doctors because i had been sick for a week and a half, and she said no and screamed at me and said she’ll throw me in a juvenile detention center…I shouldn’t have to be afraid of them any more. My parents have also threatened to make me quit my job and take all of my money. They wouldn’t let me get a bank account when i first got my job, and they kept it and would take money without telling me or paying me back. Today my mom and i got into a fight, and she threw a butcher knife at me and it nearly cut my head. i am terrified of them. they always call me a slut, a whore etc. and my little sister will always take their side because she is scared of them as well. Please let me know if i have a good reason to become emancipated…i need to know what to do so i can get this done…im scared that if i don’t get it done soon, my dad may have a bad day and take it out on me again…my fiance and his family are very supportive of me…if i do become emancipated i will move in with my fiance and get married…but i need help…any input would be greatly appreciated on what i need to do…also if my parents found out about this, they would not sign the papers, and instead they would beat me worse than anything else…Please help me

  • shardau


  • Carmen

    I am 17, a senior in high school, and definite college university freshman as of Fall ’13 (I have already been accepted to early admissions). I am #14 in my class, all honors classes, AP classes, I am in HOSA, SGA, Narional Honors Society, Health Academy, Academy of Scholars, I am a board member for HOSA in the state of North Carolina District 4, I am in Fresh Start and will soon start receiving Clinical hours at Womack Medical Hospital on Ft. Bragg. My GPA is a 3.9 and I am in the AIG program and have been for 10 years now. I have no boyfriend, am not pregnant and never have been. I am constantly doing things pertaining to school and extracurricular, therefore I do not have the time to withhold a job, though I have had one before. I have ADHD, and have a prescription for Adderall which I take as prescribed. My mother and I have been in a constant battle with each other for 6 years now. Our battles have been physical (not on my behalf), mental, and emotional. I ran away 4 years ago, but returned home as result of me turning myself in after two days. I was HOUSED in a juvenile center, in which I was never incarcerated, until transportation for me going home was attainable. I have lived with friends for weeks even months at a time with my mothers knowledge, but always returned home out of guilt for leaving my little sister, who is now 12, at home alone with my mom and without my support. My mother is very abusive. She has lowered my self esteem as a person completely over the years by name calling, cursing, yelling, etc. She has been physically abusive for years, and recently left a bruise on my face along with a welt which was reported to DSS. I was living with a female friend, attending school perfectly, and being provided for completely under means of food, shelter, toiletries, etc. She has a vehicle that is her own, both she and I have a license and insurance, so transportation was never an issue. My advisor, counselor, school social worker , school officer, and principal all were in agreeance that this situation was the best of the options. My mother tried to get me back home, but failed by legal means. She does not provide a cell phone for me, all of the clothes in my closet have been purchased by me, as have my toiletries and hygiene products such as shampoo, body wash, tampons, toothpaste, panties, bras, shoes, clothes, food, EVERYTHING is provided by myself. With me being in so many extracurricular activities, I am required to attend multiple meetings and community service projects. My mother has always refused transportation and involvement of any sort on her behalf. She takes Adderall of which she DOES NOT have a prescription for. (She takes my little sisters) and she is an alcoholic. She is a clinically diagnosed depressive which she does not take meds for. She is a cumpulsive liar, and is mentally unstable. I was eventually “forced” back home as result of my mother not authoriZing permission for ANY extracurricular, clubs, academy’s, etc. I was also offered therapy by DSS which I accepted. However, my mother has gotten me back home and now decided she still denies permission. She has declared she will not provide information for Financial Aid or anything that relates to college or academics. She is contacting my friends behind my back trying to get information, scaring them, and threatening to send me to a group or foster home. She denies permission for me to leave home for any reason at all. She goes out to eat for meals, and does not provide for me. When asked if I can go get food or toiletries, I am told no. I have recently lost 63 pounds and been diagnosed with stress related hypoglycemia and I have insomnia. My mother recently recieved notice for foreclosure and is on Government assistance. I pay for all of my necessities with money i have saved over the years from selling my personal belongings, holidays, birthdays, etc. My parents have been divorced my entire life and my father is not in the equation at all. I graduate in 8 months, but will not turn 18 until 10 months. I am seeking emancipation for the purpose of remaining in my extracurricular without her intervening, the ability to apply for Financial Aid as a legal independent so I can pay for college, the ability to open my own bank account so I can build a credit and manage all my cash, and graduate with no difficulties on my mothers actions. I seek emancipation with great hopes of approval seeing as how I will be 18 in 10 months. I have reached this decision with the support of my counselor, advisor, principal, SRO, and social worker. I have a place to stay though they are not family (I have no family anywhere close by) and they are in full compliance. They will provide shelter and food, and I will provide my own personal necessities. Transportation is no issue, neither is finances or adult supervision (her grandmother and 22 year old sibling are home 24/7). My friends mother lost a battle to cancer two years ago. I am seeking advice on the decision to pursue emancipation?

  • Shayna

    I’m 17, engaged (do have my dads approval), and my fiancé works as a logger also his dad is handing his logging job down to him ins couple years. We recently just bought a new double wide n I started having trouble with his ex’s mom. Not her lol mom tells me I can’t move in now untilim 18 cause she’s against fighting. Do I have a right to move in even though I’m not 18. By the way I live in West Virginia.

  • jessica

    well i want to get emancipated because im pregnet nd wanting to get public housing for wen the baby is born i dont wanna live with my mom to much people in the house no room for a bby so if my mom agrees how could i get a townhome something im16 turning 17

  • t.j.

    I’m currently staying in a boys home but. Before that I was,in a foster home I’m 16 and will be 17 in september the place that I’m in is like a jail I havent gotten into trouble and I get good grades in school and right now I’m looking for a job. Ijust recently I’ve been in contact with my bbbhtfamily and I have a cousin who is 30 offering a helping hand and a place to stay as long as I need and I was wondering if I would be able to get emancipated xo o could leave his place. I have three little sisters who are still in foster care that I want oh so badly to be able to get them out. Can u please offer some advice thank you place to stay

  • LeAnn

    My parents are both divorced and married to different people. I am sixteen turning seventeen next January. I am in the process of graduating early and would like to get emancipated in order to focus on school and my job without the stress of the parental figures in my life. They recently took my cellphone and that was the only means of communication with my work and friends. I have fallen in love with twenty-six year old. I know that it is illegal but we haven’t done anything and won’t until I am eighteen. He is worrying about me because I have become depressed due to years of verbal abuse from both parents. I wish to graduate early and move to go to college. But before I do that I need to get emancipated. Without a ride to the county court how can I start the process of getting emancipated? I forgot to mention that my mother has lied to the judge, has stolen money from me, and isn’t legally able to drive but she does anyway. I really need help in the matter. Both of my parents and their spouses have threatened me and I wish to remove myself from this negative hole that I am in. Please hurry.

  • Crystal

    Ladies…. I experienced a diificult life as a teenager. I had a baby at 16, ran away frequently with my boyfriend, had arguments with my parents and barely graduated high school. It is common for young women from 12-18 to go threw emotional turmoil around this age. If you truly want to be emancipated from your parents because you hear my story and thinks psssst…i know nothing about your situation, i encourage you to get a job and take care of your self, if you can not support yourself by means other than depending on a man to take the place of your parents…i urge you to reconsider. You will only be trading one controlling situation for another. Usually this is a phase of life and one day it will make sense all the things that you feel your parents are being so unfair about…what are you fight over…school, grades…boyfriends…u getting pregnant so young….these are issues that you too would argu about with some one you loved and cared for. When you have a child you will know. Woman are independent…they call their own shots…feed theirselves…educate themselves…take care of their kids. Having a man do it for is no different than living with your parents. He will call your moves, give you a curfew, hold his money and power over your head but unlike parents he doesnt have YOUR best interets at heart he only wants you to satify his….

  • Miserable

    I am 17 teen years old living in North Dakota. My birthday is in February (it is June now). My home life is completely miserable. I have been waiting all school year to start working. I had a good paying job at Buffalo Wild Wings, they said they would give me all the hours I want. Just recently, my parents and I were arguing as always. They wanted to take me to this appointment and wouldn’t tell me what it was for or where I was going. I got nervous and wanted to go see my boyfriend who is 22 for comfort. They have no problem with him, but called the cops on me because I wouldn’t immediately go with them. I got sent to the assessment center for three days for unruly child. The only times I’ve been in trouble with the cops is because they decided to involve them. There has been no other situation in my life where I have gotten into trouble with the cops on my own, my parents always called them. They have been trying to get me sent away ever since I was 13. My dad would text me and if I didn’t text back right away he would say “if you don’t text back in 5 min. I’m calling cops” it makes me feel really low, like they don’t want me to grow up. My boyfriend has his own apartment literally 10 blocks or so away. I just want to live with him so bad but my parents are doing everything in their power to make nothing work out for me. I now no longer can work, so when I turn 18 I’ll pretty much have nothing. I mean, I should be lucky for the good paying job I “had”. I am no longer able to contact anyone, my cell phone is shut off, I can’t use the house phone. I am basically going crazy here… Even though it seems selfish I honestly can’t imagine living another 8 months here.. I am so miserable. They just don’t want me growing up, me being the youngest child. My dad is hopelessly addicted to marijuana, my mother knows about it. I found his stash and threw it away, he almost went mad. He treats me very badly, so much verbal abuse, and used to hit me on the head when I was younger, not now of course. He honestly scares me. My mom says “oh don’t blame him, it’s because his father died when he was 8 or so and didn’t have a father to show him how to be one” If you ask me, that is no excuse. They always drug test me even though I pass, my mom says if I fail I will get sent away till I’m 18, even though my father smokes marijuana himself. I just want to move in with my boyfriend who I am happy with and in love with- he loves me too, and work as many hours as I want to catch up financially. I would still go to school for my senior year when it starts… I just want to be happy but they won’t let me grow up…. Help me please…

  • laura

    What do I do if the father will not sign the modification it has to be signed before I can file it with the court I cannot afford a attorney.