Emancipated Minor — Defined

Emancipated Minor — Defined

When a minor child is legally no longer under the care and control of their parent or guardian and has been granted the ability to assume adult responsibilities before they are “of age,” that child is said to be an emancipated minor.

As a parent, there isn’t a single situation where we can fathom not being responsible for our children unless they are at least 18 and old enough to venture off on their own. But the term emancipated minor is a real thing. An emancipated minor is someone who is under 18 yet can legally function in society as an adult without parental consent or being considered a ward of the state. Depending on the state in which they live, an emancipated minor can enter into legally binding contracts, apply for work, keep any income they earn and even make important healthcare decisions.

All states have some form of emancipation of minors, and there are generally four ways it would be granted.

Ways to become an emancipated minor

You’re married or getting married

Yes, minors can wed in Texas. Minors must still comply with state marriage requirements and get parental consent, but they typically receive emancipation once they get married.

You need to be removed from a dangerous situation

A court may rule for emancipation if the minor’s parents are abusive, neglectful, or not present. There are also a variety of other factors the court will look at to determine eligibility.

You can prove financial independence

This can be the case if a minor is already living apart from his or her parents, has made alternative living arrangements, and has a job.

Military enlistment

Minors can become emancipated if they enlist in the military.

To become an emancipated minor, you must file a petition with the Court and notify your parents or legal guardians of your decision. Usually, a hearing will be scheduled to hear arguments and review evidence before deciding on the best course of action. If you are emancipated, you will receive an official declaration for your records.

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