Many young people understand the necessity of taking responsibility for themselves and their own well-being before they turn 18, which is the legal age of adulthood in most circumstances. Because of this, the law provides a process for living as a legal adult before reaching the age of majority — emancipation.
If you or someone you love believes that it is time to get emancipated from parents or legal guardians, it is important to have a viable strategy in place that will allow you to navigate the process effectively and protect your rights along the way. Courts weigh each request for emancipation individually, so it is important to understand the issues that the court may evaluate.
To emancipate yourself, you must make a compelling case to the court that you have the means to properly support and house yourself. You must also demonstrate to the court that you are sufficiently mature. Courts may also consider factors such as abuse, e.g., if your current living circumstances put you in harm’s way. Similarly, if a minor becomes pregnant and chooses to marry the father, then emancipation is automatic.
Emancipation is a big step, but may be the right choice for you. Make sure that you have a clear plan to present to the court, outlining how you intend to care for yourself and demonstrating that you have the ability and temperament to do so. Creating a strong legal strategy before seeking emancipation helps ensure that you have the tools to provide for your own needs and keeps your rights protected as you assume greater self-sufficiency and embrace the legal rights that come with emancipation.