There are various reasons for a young person to seek emancipation, including the desire to have more say over earned income. Contrary to popular belief, emancipation does not automatically grant a minor all the legal rights that an adult has. If you are considering emancipation, here is what you need to know.
What Does Emancipation Do?
The purpose of emancipation is for a minor to take control of his or her own care. Responsibilities, such as leasing and buying property and earning income, are granted to emancipated minors. Other responsibilities and rights that a minor takes on include:
There are additional rights that might be available which are based on the state in which you live.
What Does Emancipation Not Do?
In some states, there are restrictions in place that still limit some of the actions and rights of emancipated minors. For instance, in the state of California, an emancipated minor has to get permission to get married from his or her parent and also is required by law to continue to attend school.
You might also be prevented from buying and drinking alcohol and voting. The state most likely will defer to the federal age requirements for both.
Do You Have to Go to Court to Be Emancipated?
Emancipation is possible through three different methods. Depending on the method you choose, you might have to go to court.
One method is to seek the permission of the court. Each state has a minimum age requirement you must meet to qualify. You also have to prove to the court that allowing emancipation would be in your best interest.
To prove your case, you have to show that you are financially able to care for yourself and have living arrangements. You also have to prove that you are in school or have already received your high school diploma.
Emancipation is also possible through military enlistment. Each branch of the military has its own requirements that must be met to enlist. For instance, you might be required to have a high school diploma or GED before consideration.
A final method is by marriage. In order to marry, you need the permission of the court or your parent. If you are petitioning the court for permission, you will need to meet the previously stated requirements. Since emancipation laws tend to vary from state to state, consider consulting with a family law attorney to learn more about your state's laws and how they apply to your situation.
To learn more, contact a law firm like Nelson, McPherson Summers & Santos LC.
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