In each state, the government has set an age of majority which is the age when children are considered to be adults. In most places, this age is set at 18. When a child reaches this age, he or she has permission to move out and the parents no longer are held responsible for providing for that individual. In some states, a teenager can ask for the court to allow him or her to assume adult responsibilities before the age of emancipation.
Emancipation is a term that refers to the court process by which an minor becomes a self-supporting person with the adult responsibility to care for his or her own welfare. When a minor achieves emancipation, he or she assumes the rights, privileges and duties of an adult and no longer needs to rely on parents to provide.
Also, parents have no claim to a minor's earnings if that individual files for emancipation. The court considers the best interests and level of maturity of the minor, and will determine whether or not the minor is able to support his or herself financially. If capable, then the court will no longer demand that the parents provide for the child.
There are certain limits on emancipation. For example, minors that have been emancipated may not be allowed to purchase alcohol, vote, or get married depending on their age and the laws of the state. Normally, a teen can't petition for emancipation until the age of sixteen or older, but California has a special statute which allows minors at the age of 14 to petition. This way these younger teens can live on their own and provide for themselves if they are in a difficult family situation. If you want more information about emancipation law or are a teenager petitioning for emancipation contact a San Fernando divorce attorney at Cutter & Lax today!