What does it mean if a minor is emancipated by the court? 17

About: Emancipation

The Rights of Minors Who Become Legally Recognized as Adults

Under the law, a minor can be emancipated by the court for one or more of several reasons. To be emancipated means that the child is “legally” an adult and no longer requires parental supervision even though they may not have yet reached the age of majority (age 18 in most states).

If a minor is granted emancipation by the court, the child gains certain rights and benefits normally reserved for adults. These include the right to sue and bring actions in court without the need for an adult filing as “Next Friend”, the right to marry and the right to join the military without parental permission.

Emancipated minors may also choose to live where they please, enter into contracts and own property. They can obtain medical care without a parent’s signature and they can manage their own money.

But emancipation isn’t just about benefits. An emancipated minor is also responsible for any contracts he or she signs and can be sued in court just like an adult. They are responsible for their own well-being which means that they must earn their own living, pay their own bills and find their own place to live – their parents will no longer be responsible for these things.

Emancipated minors are also no longer eligible for state assistance normally offered to children. They will, however, still be eligible to receive any assistance normally offered to adults.

Some states also recognize “partial” emancipation as an alternative to complete emancipation. In these instances, the child will be awarded certain rights, such as the right to manage their own money or the right to choose their own school but will still fall under their parents’ supervision for all other matters.


  • Lee Ann

    My 21 year old daughter keeps telling me that she is going to get emancipated from us. By being 21 years old, isn’t she already emancipated?

    • Mia

      Your Automatically emancipated at 18 so at 21 she would just be wasting time applying for emanctipation

  • Abbagail

    I am 15, I turn 16 August 10th. I have been whooped as a child to where I bleed,and black-n-blue. I am a little unstable because i was molested by my uncles as a child for many years under my parents roof. My real mom left after 3months. I am independent and responsible for the most part. I use to cut and drink. Now i am on pills that help with my depression from my life. I have three jobs. I mow 2 lawns and am a made to my next door neighbor. I dont have cashed stacked up. I have an ex boyfriend who is 19, living in Florida who is willing to let me stay with him. I plan on getting a job asap as soon as i move down there,[if i am aloud]. so my question is: Is there anyway i can get emancipated? Can someone please help me? I am depressed and not stable here. I need help so i can move out as soon as i turn 16. Please, please help me!!!!!

    • Ness

      Abbagail, You can apply for emancipation and based on your independance you should be abl to get emancipated asap after your birthday..
      Everyone says “i understand” but i honestly have a VERY simliar life story and it never gets eaier if your around the same people.. just yesterday my mother punched me in the lip and swollen it so im staying with my grandma and getting help on my Emancipation. my birthday is August 24 and my cousins is September 25 so me and him are getting emancipated together =]
      Your life and luuck starts the day you move out on your own! Best luck and wishes <3

  • Dee

    Im 16 from New York and recently moved to Florida with my dad but I a moving back to NY in june, my mom called and said she legally emancipating me can someone tell me what I need to do and what this really means

  • Taylor

    I am 15 years old and I will be 16 in April. I wouldn’t say I’m really mistreated, but my dad even admitted that my mom treats my 19 year old brother (that still lives with us) better than me. It seems like everything I do is unappreciated and I’m tired of being blamed for everything that goes wrong. I want to get emancipated once I find a job and become financially independent, which hopefully will happen when i turn 16. I just need help on how to get emancipated because I don’t fully understand it. Help?

  • Micheala

    Okay, I’m 16 and I will be 17 in 9 days. My parents have smoked pot my entire life. I don’t like the way we live. Do I have a better chance of emancipation if I don’t tell the courts my parents smoke pot?

  • Jodi

    I am sixteen and i am emotionally abused everyday and have been in very scary physical encounters. The physical encounters were so scary that each time I would fear if i was going to be cholked to death. it feels like i have tried everything to opening up and seeking prefessional help. PLEASE HEELLPP!!!!! It’s not getting any better and I truly believe I am responsible to be emancipated.

  • Erock

    You guys are all smart and brave if you ask me. I wish i knew of this such law when i was a minor and not because of any problems my parents gave my brother and i everything we always traveled and had it all..But the fact of how smart you truely are when your 16 and how much it goes to waist sitting on your couch doing things your “parents” way and than usually end up doing things you wouldnt do in a millioin years. I got use the comfort when i got back from school in N.Y. and started into pills just because i had the life of being taken care of. Micheala to me your best bet would be if you told the courts about there situation it would help you even more to become imancipated becuase they’ll see your not that kid that wants to sit home and fallow in the same footsteps. Trust me these courts you all are about to go up against have faced criminals up to cold blooded murderers who would cut people up and literally put them in garbage bags into hundreds of peices. The problems you all are bringing to them are not going to surprise them but what im saying is instead of sitting home smoking pot with your parents like most teens would do you, you actually wanna get out and make a change from that and want your freedom for excellent reasons. And abbagail im so so sorry to hear about your story i hope down in FL it all works out for you girls like you and boys like him def. deserve that chance of a freedom that will set you apart from the rest of the world and def. make it known that you all are in your own way survivors and i wish you all the best….Eric

  • Nicole

    I would not say i am miss treated but my dad and baby sister died in a car wreck a couple years ago.. and ever scince my mother has been drinking. not bad like a acohlic but about 2 or 3 times a week. she spends about 100-150 a month on cigarettes and beer. she does not support anything i do and treats me like im a burdone. I am very independent and i will be 16 in augest. i am hopeing to get emancipated when i do turn 16. i am very good with finances i dont drink i dont smoke and i am going to be geting a job that pays $12 a hour.But i have a savings acount from when my dad died that i am supposed to be geting when i turn 18 years of age. i am sick of not being supported by my mother and sick of her wasting money on stupid things. would i be able to get emancipated and if so how would i go about it. please help …!?!?

    • Nicole

      p.s. when i say 2-3 times a week i mean a few beers like a 12 or 6 pack each time

  • Angel

    – I am 15 years old, and I need to be emancipated from my parents. When I was twelve my dad lost custody for mental abuse, sense then, I have seen him maybe 5 times. Now I live with my mom. She’s 40 and has a 24 year old boyfriend who she runs off and does pills and other drugs with all the time. She would leave for two weeks at a time, So I would just leave and go to my aunt’s. I spent months at a time away from her without her leaving me money or anything, and I was just fine. She does nothing for me, Honestly, I haven’t had a birthday, christmas, nothing sense I’ve lived with her. We can’t be in the same room together for more than ten minutes without arguing. She has slapped me in the face numerous times, for no reason, She always yells at me for stupid things, and she’s just ignorant. I’ve cut myself, walked down the side of the highway, punched walls, and even took a bag full of random pills just to try and feel some type of relaxation. Nothing works. I’m only home maybe two days out of the week because I can’t stand to be around my mom, and when I am home she tries to control me in every way possible. It’s too much for me to deal with, and I want out. It really doesn’t get better until you get away.

  • kia

    I’m 15 , 6 months pregnant and i don’t want to give my baby up for adoption but that might be the last resort if i can’t get emancipated. I don’t want my daughter to grow up like how i did, i will do anything to keep me and her safe and stable away from my parents only problem is i here you have to be 16 to get emancipated?

  • Tiff

    Im a legally married minor, both our dads signed. Nevada only needs one parent signature. His mom is so angry that she pulled him out of school quit his job for him and has isolated him from me and his world. I’m filing emancipation, should this be a simple process? We are renting a room from my parents, buying food, going to school and in a year he will join the navy. What are your thoughts

  • kayla

    im i6 years old and live in Rhode island. i am mature for my age as everyone says. i live in a foster home and i have been bounced around in them since i was 6 . im so fed up with not being able to do much or seeing my family as much and hearing so many people complain i wanna be able to live on my own make my own money and be able to see friends and family without going through 20 people before i get an answer. is it possible for me to get emancipation?

  • chelsea

    I am 20 years old am i automatically considered legally emacipated from my parents in the state of missouri? If so, does this mean that i no longer need to put my parents information on my fasfa so that i can go back to school?

  • Aleya

    I am 16 years old. My dad smokes meth, i get verbally abused & im depressed in my house. My parents don’t make me happy, they don’t give me support unless other people are around. I live in utah, could i get emancipated? i would move in with my boyfriend and i already have a job, i buy my own clothing and do practically everything on my own.