What is emancipation?

Emancipation is when a parent gives up control over their minor child. In New York, a parent must support his or her child until age 21, or until the child becomes ‘emancipated.’

How do I become emancipated?

New York State does not issue "emancipation orders". A child may only be emancipated as a part of some other court action, such as when a parent thinks he should not have to pay to support an emancipated child.

If there is no official court process for becoming emancipated, what conditions must I meet to be considered emancipated?

In order to be considered emancipated, you must:

· Be over the age of 16

· Not live with either of your parents (unless you live away from home only because of school, camp, college, or other temporary situation)

· Not receive any financial support from your parents (unless a court has ordered them to pay you support or you only receive benefits that you are entitled to, such as Social Security)

· Have your own job as your main source of income (unless your job is only a summer or vacation job)

· Not be in foster care, or under court ordered supervision

You can also be considered emancipated if you:

· Enter the military

· Get married

A child might be considered emancipated if he/she leaves his/her parents home without a good reason. The child must also refuse to obey the reasonable demands of his/her parents. If the child leaves for a good reason, however, (such as child abuse) the parents will most likely still have to support their child. If that child is under 16, however, they will not be emancipated and will only fall under the supervision of Family Court.

If I am an emancipated child under 18 years old, what are my rights?

You have the right to:

· Keep your own wages

· Establish your own legal residence

· Go to school where you live

· Sue your parents for support if they forced you to leave home

· Receive some public benefits, depending on how you became emancipated

If I am an emancipated child under 18 years old, do I still need my parents’ permission for anything?

You must still get your parents’ permission to:

· Get working papers

· Get a learner’s permit or driver’s license

· Get routine health care (unless it is an emergency, because of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), for family planning services, for alcohol or mental health treatment, or if you are pregnant, a parent, or married)

You must also meet age and consent requirements to get married.


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This article provides general information about this subject. Laws affecting this subject may have changed since this article was written. For specific legal advice about a problem you are having, get the advice of a lawyer.  Receiving this information does not make you a client of our office.

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