What is Emancipation and Why You Need to Know

Emancipation is something that has become a sort of taboo in our society. However, it is very important to know what emancipation is and how it can affect peoples lives. Emancipation is the legal separation of a child, under the age of 18, from his or her parents or legal guardians. This can occur when parents are abusive, they cannot take care of their children, or they take advantage of their children financially. While these legal grounds might seem a bit broad in terms of what qualifies a child to be emancipated from their parents, it is actually a bit tougher than one would realize. It’s a very long process and there are some strict guidelines that a child has to follow in order to become emancipated. Let us Jump in:

There are three ways to become emancipated –  getting married, joining the armed forces, or getting a declaration of emancipation from a judge. To get married under the age of 18 you will still need permission from your parents and the court – same goes with the armed forces. Getting a declaration of emancipation from a judge is a little more difficult (as if the first two aren’t). For a judge to grant a declaration of emancipation the child needs to prove all of the following:

  • He/she must be at least 14 years old.
  • He/she does not want to live with their parents, and the parents do not mind if the child moves out. The child will also need to have somewhere to live, and the constant money to pay for that place. In some cases, he or she might need to have the place sufficiently furnished.
  • He/she has to have a legal way to make money, and you are financially responsible with that money. This includes having enough money to pay for rent, insurance, health care, groceries, and any other expenses they might
  • Emancipation will be in the best interest of the child. It is important that emotionally, financially, and physically, this will be in the child’s best interest. The courts do not want to grant every upset child emancipation; this really needs to be a decision that is clearly the best for everyone involved.

This process can take around four to six months, depending on outside factors. However, if emancipation is granted, it can really change lives. Children that come from emotionally or physically abusive homes can start over and live a happy life. Children that get taken advantage of financially by their parents, can now keep their hard earned money. Emancipation can be the best thing to happen to these children, and can also show some parents the damage they did and hopefully mend some broken relationships.

It is important to realize that children who want to become emancipated are not being ‘dramatic’ or ‘overreacting’. These homes can have serious problems that are being forced upon these children with no way out. Emancipation is their only way out. It is their only way to be free and happy. It is a big deal and it needs more recognition. If you or someone you know has any questions on emancipation, give us a call or fill out our web form below!


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