What is emancipation and how does it work?

Emancipation is a legal process that frees a child who is between the ages of 14-17 from the custody and control of their parent(s) or guardian. Minors can be emancipated if they enter into a valid marriage, are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or have received a declaration of emancipation from a Court (Family Code Section 7002). The requirements to receive a declaration of emancipation include:

  • Child is at least 14 years old
  • Child willingly doesn’t live with his/her parents or guardian, and the parents or guardian are okay with this or are not actively trying to get the child back
  • Child manages his/her own finances
  • Child’s source of income is legal
  • Emancipation would be in the child’s best interests

For more information about the process of emancipation, click here. Also call LSC’s Warmline with any questions.