Definition of Emancipation

Emancipation allows for a child who is less than the age of majority to be declared independent and no longer be under the supervision, control or care of either parent. An emancipated child will be able to make their own decisions, and they will no longer have the financial support of their parents.

Most children are considered an adult at age 18, although the age of majority varies by state. Some states, such as Mississippi, have decided the age of majority is 21. Some children such as the disabled, however, remain under the care of their parents indefinitely. If, however, a child would like to become an adult they can request to be emancipated. Children can also be considered an adult prior to reaching the age of majority or requesting emancipation if they get married or join the military.

If the child requests emancipation the court will make their decision only after reviewing whether the child has the ability and resources to support themselves and if they have income and assets which are available separate from their parents. We most commonly hear about emancipation from the media when a young movie or television star requests emancipation from their parents so they have the ability to control their own earnings.

If you are paying child support and your child requests to be emancipated or they reach the age of majority you may no longer be responsible for child support payments. Generally, the support order will state when child support ends, but if not, you may have to go to court and request to have child support terminated.

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