State statutes governing the release of minors from the legal guardianship of their parents are called “emancipation laws.” Emancipation may be granted to minors who are, for example, able to prove their ability to support themselves; have made arrangements for housing; are able to make important decisions for themselves; or show sufficient maturity. This sub-section includes a concise overview of emancipation laws and the minor emancipation process; an explanation of how certain events may trigger the automatic emancipation of a minor; summaries of some of the more significant state emancipation requirements; a primer on the legal rights of children; and related information.
- Minor Emancipation Basics
An overview of minor emancipation law and process. Learn about what minor emancipation entails, how to obtain an emancipation order, limitations on emancipation, the age requirements for emancipation, and more.
- Criteria for an Emancipation Ruling
A look at the factors courts consider when making a minor emancipation determination. In this section, you’ll find information on common criteria for an emancipation ruling, including how to define the “best interests” of the child.
- Automatic Emancipation
In certain circumstances, a minor may be emancipated from his or her parents’ care without seeking a court order. Learn about the situations in which emancipation may be automatic, including joining the armed forces and getting married.
- Rights, Privileges, and Duties of Emancipation
Once emancipated, minors typically have the same rights and duties as adults. This section provides a list of the rights and privileges emancipated minors possess, including the rights to marry, enter into contracts, and inherit property.
- State Emancipation Laws
A collection of state laws on emancipation of minors. Learn about your state’s stance on minor emancipation, the process involved, the criteria considered when making a determination, and more.
- How Long Do Parents' Legal Obligations to Their Children Continue?
While parents’ legal obligations typically terminate when a minor reaches the age of majority, there are certain circumstances where parental obligations may terminate at an earlier date, including emancipation.