Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Can A Child Seek Emancipation In California?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2016 | Family Law

When it comes to parents and their children, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from. There are going to be fights. Your child will rebel. This is just a normal part of a child growing up and learning their boundaries. However, there are those one-off situations when it goes much farther than any parent could ever imagine. Their child has decided they want to take legal action against their parents and seek emancipation. In California, this is possible.

How Emancipation Works

In the family law context, emancipation is when a child (minor under the age of eighteen) seeks to be considered an adult before this age of majority. This allows them to relinquish any rights their parents have over them. Every situation is different but it is rare when this is granted.

Once a child obtains emancipation, he or she can make legal decisions for themselves without their parents consent (as the parents no longer have parental rights). Some of these decisions include where they live, where they go to school, medical decisions and more. At the same time, as an emancipated child he or she no longer has a right to any financial support from their parents.

How does a child seek and obtain emancipation in California? There are three distinct ways. One, the child must get legally married. The other is they join the armed forces. The first two options still require parental permission. The last, is to declare emancipation to a judge in court. The judge will review the petition and the facts of the case. There are certain factors that must be met, such as being at least fourteen and the child must not be living with the parents.

If you are a parent facing this situation, it is important to seek experienced family law counsel as soon as possible. Whether you are contesting your child’s emancipation declaration or you are in favor and needing assistance, a skilled California family law attorney can help.

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