Emancipation is a process by which a minor is freed of any control from their parents or guardians, and the parent/guardian is freed from any responsibility over the minor.
Emancipation can be a complicated process because generally a minor is not considered able to look after themselves or make their own legal decisions. Situations where this can be overcome, and emancipation is possible, are generally situations where the parent/guardian is either incapable or unwilling to provide for the basic needs of the minor.
There are also situations where the parent/guardian is absent or a danger to the minor. Emancipation can also be an option in these situations, especially if the minor can demonstrate their ability to look after themselves.
Many celebrities have even undergone the emancipation process as minors. Here are three rules that you need to keep in mind if emancipation is an option you are considering.
You need somewhere to stay
One of the most important questions during emancipation is going to be where you are planning to stay. If you are no longer living with parents, you need to prove alternate accommodation as a court can’t let you just go and wander around homeless.
If you’re just looking to get away from home for a while, there are legal options available to you without going all the way to emancipation. If you’re sure it’s complete emancipation that you need, then sorting out a place to stay is a priority.
You could try family or friends, just be aware that a long-term guest is a careful consideration which can cause many stresses. Another option is to fund your own place to stay, though as a minor rental options are difficult to come by.
There needs to be a high level of maturity demonstrated
Maturity is essential for a judge to sign off on you being emancipated. You have to show you can behave like an adult before you physically reach that age. This could mean getting a job, knuckling down at school, or even entering a rehab programme. If substance abuse has been an issue in your situation, which is surprisingly common, then rehab is a great way to show your intentions of turning your life around. Take a look ARC Project to get further information.
You have to show that you can provide for yourself
This area means demonstrating an income. Having another person provide for you is simply moving guardianship to them, so you have to show that you are both willing and able to provide for yourself. Getting a job secured before any hearings take place is a big statement in this area, and having an employer who is willing to speak for you and state long-term intentions is a great help too. The court needs to see that you are able to get by on your own and have the ability to make the right decisions.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.