Emancipation in Los Angeles

Hossein Berenji, Sep 02, 2016

If you are below the age of majority (18 years of age), you are under the control and responsibility of your parents. Hence, your parents must provide you with the essentials: food, water, shelter, et cetera. In addition, your parents are able to pick where you live and where you go to school. All of this, however, is not the case if you, the minor child, are emancipated.

In sum, emancipation frees a minor child from the control and responsibility previously held by his or her parents. Emancipation, in other words, gives the minor child the rights and responsibilities of an adult. So, emancipation allows minor children to technically become adults before they are 18.

Note that emancipation laws differ from state to state.  If you have questions, or desire legal assistance, regarding emancipation in Los Angeles, California, contact the experienced divorce lawyers at Berenji & Associates. We are knowledgeable of the law with 20 years of combined experience helping families throughout Los Angeles County.

Please further note that California’s emancipation law also applies to children under the control and custody of a guardian.

What Happens Once Emancipated?

Once you are emancipated, the emancipation is normally forever. Nevertheless, the California courts can void the emancipation in certain circumstances. For one, a California court may void the emancipation if you lied to the court. Also, the emancipation may be voided if you are no longer able to independently support yourself.

Upon being emancipated, in California, you are provided a host of new rights and responsibilities. The following list is not exclusive.  Speak to an attorney for a complete list of rights.

Once emancipated, you are able to:

  • Independently decide where you will live
  • Independently enter into binding contracts
  • Independently file legal actions with California courts
  • Retain the money that you earn
  • Get a worker’s permit without first obtaining consent from your parent(s)
  • Independently enroll into school
  • Independently consent to medical, dental and psychiatric care and/or treatment
  • Stay out of the house as long as you wish (no curfew)

Even if you are emancipated, you STILL must attend school and you STILL must get your parents’ permission before being married. In addition, if you break the law as a minor, you will most likely be required to appear in juvenile court instead of adult court.

How Does One Become Emancipated?

California law recognizes three key ways that you can be emancipated. First of all, you can be emancipated if you get married before your 18th birthday. This, of course, requires you to obtain your parents’ permission as well as the permission of the court.

Second, you can be emancipated if you join the armed forces. This also requires your parents’ consent and the acceptance of the armed forces.

Third, you can be emancipated if you obtain a declaration of emancipation from a judge. This requires you to show the court that:

  • You are 14 years of age or older
  • You no longer wish to live with your parents
  • Your parents do not mind if you move out
  • You are financially independent
  • You are able to earn a living (a legal living)
  • Emancipation is good for you and your situation  

Need Help? Hire an Attorney!

If you or a loved one are considering emancipation and wish for legal assistance, the lawyers at Berenji & Associates are here for you. Our goal is to address all your questions and help you make informed decisions while effectively representing your interests.