Emancipated allows a youth to be freed from the custody and control of their parents and to have many of the rights and responsibilities of an adult.
There are three ways a minor may become emancipated: 1. Get married with parental consent and permission from the court. 2. Join the military. 3. Go to court and have the judge declare you emancipated.
Yes, to be emancipated by a judge, a minor must give his/her parent(s) notice of the court hearing, and the parent(s) may go to court to contest the emancipation.
No, emancipation is meant to be a positive step for a minor, not a way for parents to get out of their parental responsibilities.
If you would like to discuss all of your options, including emancipation, you can call Legal Services for Children. For more legal resources click HERE.
Legal Services for Children
1254 Market Street, Third Floor San Francisco, CA 94102
After you have completed the forms and all necessary attachments and obtained your parents signatures (if possible), take the original plus three copies and the attachments to the Probate Clerk's Office or you may submit by mail and must include a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of your conformed copies.
Click here for filing fees.
If you are getting public benefits, are a low-income person, or do not have enough income to pay for your household’s basic needs and your court fees, you may ask the court to waive all or part of your court fees. To ask for a fee waiver:
You may be ordered to go to court to answer questions about your ability to pay court fees and costs and to provide proof of eligibility.
You will receive an Order on Court Fees Waiver (form FW-003) telling you if your request was granted (approved) or denied. The Order will explain how to proceed. Act quickly - you only have 10 days from the date the Order is mailed to you to comply with the order or exercise your options if your request was denied.
Even if your fees are waived at first, you may have to pay them back later:
The court can collect fees and costs due to the court. If waived fees and costs are ordered paid to the trial court, the court can start collection proceedings.
Emancipation is only one of several alternatives available to you if you feel you cannot live with your parents. You may want to consider other options such as:
Declaration of Emancipation by a Judge
The Court will notify the District Attorney's Office of the existence of the petition. The District Attorney's Office will check to see if your parents are collecting support from you. If so, they will oppose the petition. If not, the judge will:
Declaration of Emancipation granted without a hearing
If the judge finds that all notice and consent requirements have been met or waived and that emancipation is not contrary to your best interests, the judge may grant your petition prior to your hearing date without an appearance. You can check the probate notes to obtain more information regarding your case.
The judge may, at the time of hearing, request that the parties undergo mediation through either Family Court Services prior to making a decision on the petition. At that time, your case will be continued to another date and you will be ordered to go set a mediation date at the Family Court Services from counter.
What to do if the judge grants the Petition for Emancipation
If the judge grants your petition for emancipation without a hearing, you will receive your copies of the filed documents via mail. You must submit the Declaration of Emancipation for signature. If the judge grants your petition for emancipation after a hearing is held, you will receive your copies of the filed documents at that time. The clerk will file the original Declaration of Emancipation and give your copies to keep as proof of your emancipation. You will need to put these papers in a safe place; you may need to show these copies to employers, landlords, doctors, school officials, or others who would otherwise require parental consent.
If you want to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about your emancipation, complete an Emancipation Minor's Application to California Department of Motor Vehicles (MC-315) form and take it to the DMV along with a certified copy of the Declaration of Emancipation.
Emancipation is usually permanent. However, if there are statements on your petition that are not true or if you become unable to support yourself, the court may set aside the Declaration or Emancipation.
To view a complete listing of Local Probate forms click HERE
To view a listing of Judicial Council Forms for Probate matters, click HERE