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Knowing The Legal Paradigms

Financial Emancipation

There are two different forms of emancipation that child and family laws identify. The first type of emancipation is partial emancipation. Family law recognizes partial emancipation as a court-ordered sanction in which a minor is granted a set of rights that are not usually granted to individuals who are below the age of majority. Partial emancipation occurs when a minor is released from the care of their parents for a specified amount of time, or the child may only be released from one aspect of their parents’ rights and authority.

Once a minor is emancipated, child and family laws grant that minor the legal ability to make decisions regarding their well-being and their future. However, family law does not usually relinquish a parent's obligation to provide financial support for a minor, even if partial emancipation was granted by a court. Child and family laws will still require the parents to provide food, shelter and clothing for the minor.

In order for a minor to receive partial emancipation they usually need the consent of their parents. Once a minor is partially emancipated, child and family laws will recognize that the minor is now considered an adult in whichever aspect was outlined in the emancipation. Often, a partial emancipation will be agreed upon so that a minor can consent to medical treatment. In other instances, partial emancipation may occur so that a minor can legally contract for things such as housing.

Child and family laws acknowledge different terms of agreement for complete emancipation.

Complete emancipation occurs when a parent no longer has any legal responsibility to provide support for a child. This may entail emotional support, physical support and financial support.

Family law recognizes three primary ways in which a minor may achieve complete emancipation. First, complete emancipation takes place when an individual reaches the age of majority, which in most states is the age of eighteen. Once a child reaches the specified age, the parents are no longer required to provide for that child, except in some special circumstances.

Child and family laws also recognize the marriage of a minor as a way in which the child can become legally emancipated. The minor is no longer the responsibility of their parents. Instead, each spouse has the responsibility to care for the other.

The third way in which a minor may become completely emancipated is by enlisting in the military. This will transfer the responsibility for the minor from the parents to the Government.

If a minor is unhappy in their current situation, family law allows a child that has reached the age of sixteen to file for a complete emancipation. However, there are specific requirements that a minor must meet in order to be considered for complete emancipation. First, a child must provide an adequate and legitimate reason that they wish to be emancipated. There are many different acceptable reasons that a child may choose to be emancipated, including abuse or negligence.

Family law requires that a minor provide a judge with evidence that they are truly financially independent. This means that they must provide the court with evidence that they have a steady job, that they have secured a place to live and that they are capable of obtaining food, clothing and other basic necessities for themselves.

An emancipated minor does not qualify for assistance from welfare programs, and a completely emancipated child may not continue to receive financial assistance from their parents. A minor who has not demonstrated that they are financially independent will not be granted a complete emancipation.

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