Who Qualifies for Emancipation?
Minors who wish to legally separate themselves from their parents may be eligible to do this through a legal action known as “emancipation.” If they meet the required criteria for eligibility, and are granted emancipation by the judge, they will thereon be responsible for their own finances. They will also have the right to make other legally binding decisions just as if they were of adult legal age. In addition, the minor’s parents lose any legal right to access the minor’s income. The parents are also absolved of their legal responsibility to care for the child in any way, including financially. If you are a minor and would like to know more about the process involved with emancipation, then contact a skilled lawyer, like a family lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, for a consultation. Below is more information that you may find helpful.
What are the criteria for being granted emancipation by a judge?
For a judge to rule that a minor is eligible for emancipation, they will want to be assured that the minor has the maturity necessary to make capable decisions on his or her own behalf. The minor must also have the means to support themselves financially. In addition, they will usually consider the following:
- Has the minor arranged for a living situation that is stable and safe? In other words, the judge wants to be reassured that the minor is not living on the streets or is in a potentially dangerous environment.
- Has the minor graduated from high school or is he or she on the cusp of graduating? If the minor has earned a G.E.D. in place of a high school diploma, this is usually acceptable. If the minor has left school before graduating, this will usually make it very difficult for them to earn a living. Exceptions to the rule include child actors.
- Has the minor demonstrated the ability and sensibility to make mature and adult decisions on their own behalf? If they are not mentally and emotionally mature enough to handle themselves on their own, they are at great risk for getting taken advantage of by untrustworthy adults.
Why do minors most commonly seek emancipation?
There are a number of reasons for why a minor may wish to be granted emancipation. Here are some of the most common:
- The minor is already financially independent and does not wish for their parents to be able to access their funds.
- The minor is legally married.
- The minor has abusive or neglectful parents.
- The minor has been forced out of their home by their parents.
- The minor objects to the lifestyle choices of their parents.
Request a Consultation with a Family Law Attorney
The need or desire of a minor to become emancipated is not unusual. In many cases, a judge will grant the minor their wish. When the minor works with a family law attorney who is experienced in emancipation law, it can be of great benefit when navigating the legal system. If you are a minor who wishes to explore the possibility of becoming emancipated, give a family law firm a call to request a consultation with a knowledgeable family law attorney.