How to Get Emancipated

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Emancipation releases parents and guardians of their parental duties and gives minors the rights of an adult. A minor can get emancipated a few different ways. Below are the options open to minors who would like to be emancipated. Each state has its own set of laws and procedures; the steps below are general guidelines that are common in most states.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Contact an attorney or a local Children's Services department to obtain counsel. Often times, a minor is provided legal counsel at no charge in the case of emancipation.

  2. 2

    Petition for the right to be emancipated. Several things must be proven before a judge will accept the petition and grant the request. The age at which emancipation is possible varies by state. The typical age is between 14 and 16.

  3. 3

    Prove financial independence from parents or legal guardians. A minor must be able to prove a legal source of income. In several cases, the judge will require the minor to provide her own medical insurance.

  4. 4

    Provide documentation that you are not living with parents or legal guardians. In most cases, this living arrangement must be approved by the parents. Attend school or a General Education Degree program.

  5. 5

    Enlist in the military or have a legal marriage. These are two additional options for a minor who wishes to be emancipated.

  6. 6

    Attend court, the judge will review the petition and make a decision in the best interest of the minor.

  7. 7

    Recognize that after the emancipation is final, the minor will be viewed as an adult in the eyes of the law.

Tips and warnings

  • The law is different in each state. There are exceptions and special circumstances. Seek legal counsel to find out which emancipation laws and conditions apply.

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