WHAT IS EMANCIPATION?
Emancipation is a legal procedure that
declares a minor free from the custody and control of their parents or
guardians before they reach the age of majority. In California, the age of
majority is eighteen. If you become emancipated, you will be able to do certain
things without your parentís consent, such as:
* Live where you choose.
* Sign binding contracts.
* Keep your own earnings.
* Buy, sell, lease, or give away any
interest you have in real or personal
* Obtain a work permit without parental
* Enroll yourself in school or college.
* Obtain a driverís license.
* Sue someone in your own name.
* Make a valid will.
* Give consent to your medical, dental and
You will also give up your right to be
supported by your parents.
Even if you are emancipated:
must attend school.
Compulsory education laws require you to remain
in school until you
graduate or reach the age of eighteen.
cannot work as many hours as you want. Child labor laws still apply,
and work permit
rules must be followed.
cannot get married without parental consent. You must have parental
consent to be
married until you are eighteen.
may be tried as an adult if you commit a crime. However, the fact
you are emancipated
has no direct bearing on whether or not you will be tried as
cannot have sexual intercourse with whomever you choose. Sexual
illegal until you are eighteen.
HOW DO I BECOME EMANCIPATED?
There are three ways you can become
1. You can get married.
This requires parental consent and permission from the Court.
2. You can join the
armed forces. This requires parental consent and acceptance by the military.
3. You can obtain a
court order from a judge.
If you want to be declared emancipated, you
must convince the judge that you meet ALL of the following requirements:
1. You are at least 14
2. You willingly want to live separate and apart
from your parents with the consent or acquiescence of your parents. This means
your parents do not object to you living apart from them.
3. You can manage your
4. You have a source of
income that does not come from any illegal activity.
5. Emancipation would not
be contrary to your best interests; it is good for you.
WHAT FORMS DO I NEED TO FILL OUT?
You will need to complete certain forms and
file them with the court. You can get blank forms to fill out from the Family
Law Branch Office of the Court or from the Court Facilitator. The forms you must
fill out are:
* Petition for Declaration of
Emancipation of Minor, Order Prescribing Notice,
Declaration of Emancipation, and Order
* Emancipation of Minor-Income and
Expense Declaration (MC-306)
* Notice of Hearing (MC-305)
* Declaration of Emancipation of Minor
After Hearing (MC-310).
FILING FEE OR WAIVER
You will be required to pay a $355.00
filing fee to file your emancipation petition. If you cannot afford to pay the
fee, you can file an application to have the fees waived, including an Application
for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs form and an Order on Application of
Court Fees and Costs forms. Unless waived, you shall pay the filing fee as
specified. The ability or inability to pay the filing fee is not in and of
itself evidence of the status of the degree of financial responsibility of the
minor, as required for emancipation. You are also required to pay a $75.00
investigation fee to Family Court Services before your request will be
DO I HAVE CHOICES OTHER THAN
Emancipation is only one of several
alternatives available to you if you feel you cannot live with your parents.
You may want to consider other options such as:
counseling between you and your parents
with another responsible adult like an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or
assistance from public and private agencies
informal agreement with your parents allowing you to live outside