If my state doesn’t allow emancipation, what else can I do as far as emancipation goes?

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If my state doesn’t allow emancipation, what else can I do as far as emancipation goes?

I’m not ready to marry so I can’t use that.

Asked on July 3, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

While under PA law there is no set procedure to get a declaration of emancipation from a court, emancipation is allowed. Additionally, certain events automatically result in a minor becoming emancipated. They include marriage (which you want to wait on; good thinking) or entry into the military. Also, a minor can be emancipated in order receive a specific benefit/service that government agencies provide. As a general rule, these agencies have the authority to decide if a minor is emancipated for purposes of authorizing benefits/services that they administer.

Absent any of the above circumstances you would have to go to court and request a hearing regarding your emancipation. In order to make a ruling the court will need certain necessary information, including but not limited to: whether you are currently living with your parents or guardians; whether you are dependent on your parents for financial support; whether your parents agree that you should be independent; whether your parents are actually exercising control and authority over you; whether you can financially support yourself, etc.

Note:  If you are successful in being judicially emancipated state law requires that you must still stay in school until age 17 (or until age 16 so long as you have a job during school hours and hold an employment certificate).  Furthermore, your parents or guardians will no longer required to give you any financial support; this also includes food, housing, clothing or any other assistance.

At this point, you should try to get some counseling or legal assistance.  Talk to a school counselor, minister, or other trusted adult.  You can also try Legal Aid, a law school free clinic (if there is one close by to where you live), or contact the state/county bar association for "pro bono" (free) legal advice.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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