Emancipated Minor?Sign Over Parental Rights To A Family Member?

Emancipated Minor?Sign Over Parental Rights To A Family Member?

Jul 13, 2021, 1:59:59 PM News

Emancipation of a minor generally refers to the process of freeing a minor (person under age 18) from parental control. It means that the parent is no longer legally responsible for the acts of the child. It can allow the child to set up his/her living arrangement. Emancipation of a minor may also refer to freeing the earnings/income of a child from the control of a parent.

Complete emancipation means the parents are no longer legally responsible for the child in any way. Partial freedom means that child is emancipated only for:

-A certain period

-A particular purpose (such as the right to earn and spend his/her wages)

-A part of a parent's rights (such as the right to make decisions about a pregnancy)

There are four general ways in which a minor may be emancipated (entirely or partially).

1.A minor reaches the age of majority.

2.Certain situations occur

Such as marriage or entering the military occur. In these situations, it usually does not make sense to say that a parent must still support a minor and control his/her actions. Members of the military are subject to government control. 

A husband/wife generally must support his/her spouse. There are limitations.

3.Misconduct by a parent

Parental abuse, neglect or failure to support" or other misconduct are vital factors that a court might consider in an emancipation action.

It is critical to note that the decision was based on the facts of the case. In a 1943 case, a particular example was a son being considered emancipated by the court due to his father's "intemperate and brutal treatment.” In this case, the son was self-supporting, had left the parental home, and was 18 at the time. 

4.A parent (formally or informally) agrees to give up (some or all of his/her).

For example, a parent might consent to allow a child to establish a separate household, or a parent may force the minor to leave and support him/herself.

Emancipation Procedure

This is a "gray" area of the law. Unlike many law sites, there are no clear rules that say who may petition the court, what types of relief (solutions) you can request, and what procedures need to be followed. 

The “law” on emancipation is not clear-cut as there is no written statute or court rule that sets out a procedure for freedom. The lack of a particular course means that judges often must rely upon “common law.”

 Common law is the compiled history of what other judges in the past have said and what the standard “practice” has been.

Practically speaking, this means that there is no standard self-help court form that can be filed by someone representing him/herself. The bottom line is that there is no easy answer to what the law says about emancipation.  

It depends on:

-Who you are (parent or child) and

-Your goals – the situation you are trying to address

Understanding the diminishing margins about what is an emancipated minor is tough. To know more about it, click here

In Detail - Sign Over Parental Rights To A Family Member

Termination of Parental Rights means that a person’s rights as a parent are taken away. The person is not legally the child’s parent anymore.

-he parent loses the right to visit or talk with the child

-The parent can’t decide how the child is raised and taken care of

-The child can be adopted without the parent’s permission

How Are Parental Rights Terminated?

If the county gets a report of neglect or maltreatment, they do an investigation. Depending on what they find, they may refer the case to the county attorney for a CHIPs petition. See our fact sheet Child Protection. 

CHIPS stands for “Child in Need of Protection or Services

If the county attorney files a CHIPs petition, they ask the court to rule that your children require protection or services.

If the judge agrees with the petition, a case plan will be made. The case plan gives you a chance to fix the problems that the court says need to be fixed so your children can live with you.

If you don’t follow your case plan or do not make progress in fixing the problems, the county may file a new petition asking to terminate your rights. Sometimes, in difficult situations, the county will skip the CHIPS process and file a petition to terminate your rights.

The petition to terminate your rights must give the legal reason for the termination. This is called the “grounds” for termination.

There will be a hearing in court. At the hearing, the county attorney tries to prove that your rights should be terminated. The county attorney must also prove that the county made an excellent attempt to reunite you with your children. They must prove these things by “clear and convincing evidence.”

After both sides present their evidence, the judge decides if your parental rights will be terminated or not.

To know about the list of issues, you can count in your sign-over parental rights to a family member process, click here.


To understand an emancipated minor, A minor generally does not have the right to take unilateral (by him/herself) action to start an emancipation action. Only a few states provide a procedure for a minor to file for emancipation. 

Parents or other interested parties, like social workers, can ask the court to authorize emancipation.

Published by smithpatrick


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