Emancipation of Minor in California
Emancipation from your parents is like a “divorce from your parents”. Once emancipated, you are legally on your own (like you’re age 18, or age of majority). Emancipation laws differ state to state.
What Happens If a Minor is Emancipated?
Once emancipated, the minor is considered an adult, with rights and obligations.
For example, an emancipated minor can independently enter into binding contracts; file lawsuits; decide where to live; stay out of the house with no curfew; consent to medical, dental and psychiatric care; and keep money that they earn.
However, an emancipated minor must also financially support themselves, including paying for housing; paying for healthcare; buying and cooking food; be legally responsible for all contracts; be sued.
What Emancipation Does NOT Do
You still cannot vote until age 18.
You still cannot buy alcohol until age 21.
How Does One Get Emancipated from Parents?
In California, there are three (3) ways to become emancipated:
- Marriage. (But, you are under 18, you still need your parent’s permission to marry, as they will need to sign marriage license application as well as the Request for Minor to Marry fl910).
- Join the armed forces. (This requires acceptance by armed forms, as well as your parents’ consent).
- Obtain a Court Order of Emancipation. You will need to prove the following: a) You are 14 years of age or older; b) You are financially independent; c) You no longer wish to live with your parents; d) Your parents agree with your decision; e) You are able to earn a living (a legal living) f) Emancipation is in your best interests.
Does the Law Still Apply to Me If I Am Emancipated?
Certain things will not change.
- You will not be able to vote until age 18.
- You will not be able to buy or consume alcohol until age 21.
- The law still requires you to attend school until age 18.
- You are not exempt from statutory rape laws. If you’re under age 18, you cannot “legally consent” to sex except with your spouse.
For more information, attached is the Legal Services for Children Emancipation Manual.