Within any family dynamic, there can be conflict between parents and children, whether the children are adults or minors. And in some instances such as financial troubles or seemingly irreconcilable family issues, a minor (underage) child may legally achieve independence from their parents by becoming emancipated minors. In many well-known examples, young celebrities such as Laura Dern, Drew Barrymore, and Macaulay Culkin have sought (and achieved) legal emancipation from their parents. Most recently, Ariel Winter of TV’s “Modern Family” also became an emancipated minor.
Once a minor has been declared emancipated, he or she may sign legally binding contracts without requiring parental permission or being influenced by parental pressure. Other reasons a minor might seek emancipation include:
- Joining military service (at age 17)
- Getting married
- Leaving an abusive or neglectful environment
- Financial mismanagement or abuse of minor’s income
Legal emancipation is a serious matter and an equally serious legal process; it is not granted by the court for such things as religious or philosophical differences, for example. And along with being financially self-supporting and responsible for his or her own actions, an emancipated minor must still attend school until the age of 18 or obtain a GED, along with other laws pertaining to minors, according to The California Superior Court. Whichever side of the table you may find yourself on, parent or child, if you are considering or involved in an emancipation situation, it is advisable to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney.
As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about emancipation or any other aspect of California family law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are. Just contact us in Tustin at 714-838-1099.