I am 16, how do I become emancipated?

You have to file the petition and serve your parents and then schedule a hearing and go to court. You would be the petitioner. Your parents have to get a copy of the petition, notice of the hearing and a civil summons filled out by the clerk of court. You also need a copy of your birth certificate. You have to send it to them by certified mail, signature required or service by sheriff, even if you live with them. For the court to grant your emancipation, you need to have a place to live and an income. You can’t use your parent’s income and you can’t use welfare.

At the court hearing, you have to present evidence and the judge has to consider:

  • Your ability to function as an adult
  • Whether you are trying to get married or if you need to sign a contract without your parent’s consent
  • Whether you have a job and an income other than your parent’s income
  • Whether you have a stable place to live
  • The level of conflict in your parent’s home
  • Whether your parents are good parents and whether you have been respectful of them as adults and as your parents, or if you are just being rebellious.

If the court finds that your paperwork was filed and served correctly, and you have a plan for where you are going to live and how you are going to support yourself, then the court may grant the emancipation if the court thinks you are better off not living with your parents. Emancipation is only granted in extreme situations. Most of the time, the judge is going to tell you to wait it out until you are 18.

Here is the form to file for emancipation:

Here is the statute: