In certain situations, a child or the parent of a child may wish to petition the Court to have the child emancipated. An emancipated minor means that the child would be viewed as a legal adult and the parent would no longer have legal control over that child, nor would the parent be responsible with providing that child with shelter, health care, or financial aid. These situations are fairly rare, and the Court does not take emancipations lightly. Our emancipation attorneys will advise you on the facts of your emancipation case, and will file the appropriate documents for your case with the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court.
Virginia Beach & Norfolk family law attorneys dealing in emancipation
Whether it is a child or a parent petitioning for emancipation, the reasons behind the petition will be seriously considered. In some cases social services may be asked to investigate if allegations of child abuse or neglect are involved. Once your family law attorney has filed a petition with the Court, a hearing will be scheduled to determine if the child is eligible for emancipation. A child may be eligible to become an emancipated minor if:
- The minor is at least 16 years of age
- The minor has entered into a valid marriage, even if that marriage has been annulled or ended in divorce
- The minor is on active duty with the United States military
- The minor is willingly living apart from their parents or legal guardian
- The minor’s legal guardian consents to any and all of the above circumstances
- The minor is capable of financially supporting themselves
Prior to earning emancipation, it is important for both the minor and the consenting parent to understand what rights and responsibilities the minor will now hold. An emancipated minor will be granted the right to enroll in school, to consent or refuse health care, to obtain a driver’s license, to enter into a marriage or any other legal contract, and to buy and sell real estate. The parent in turn no longer bears the responsibility of financially supporting the child, does not have to ensure the child attends school, and is not liable for any criminal or tortious act the minor may commit.
Contact a Norfolk & Virginia Beach lawyer regarding your emancipation case
Our family law attorneys are available to speak with any minor, parent, or legal guardian with regards to the emancipation process. We will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Please contact us online, or call (757) 422-4646. We serve clients in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, as well as the surrounding counties of Northampton, Isle of Wight, York, and James City.