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When can I decide to be emancipated?

While many kinds of family law focus on divorce and child custody, one thing that you may have found yourself worrying about is emancipation. If you are trying to emancipate yourself from your parents, this can be a difficult time for you. You need to submit the right documents, which is why working with your attorney is important.

Why would you want to be emancipated? There are a few benefits to it. First, if you're self-supporting, then you won't have to have a parent or guardian co-sign for rental agreements, leases, or other legal documents. You can choose to enroll into whatever school you choose, and you can make your own health care decisions. Parents of emancipated minors no longer have an obligation to support the child, and that includes child support obligations.

You may also choose to be emancipated if you earn a substantial amount of money and need to protect your income from irresponsible guardians. Sometimes, mentally challenged people must request emancipation after the default age of the majority, which is normally 18, which would allow them to make their own decisions and to live a life without another person controlling their finances or personal activities. The age this can be granted may vary depending on the condition and the state of the individual at the time of the request.

Those who want to be emancipated must be 16 in most states, but there are some exceptions. For example, in California, you can become emancipated as early as 14, providing you can take care of yourself and support yourself financially.

Source: FindLaw, "Emancipation of Minors Basics," accessed Oct. 08, 2015

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