My Teenager Just Became a Parent. Is He or She Emancipated?

No. Having a baby as a teen does not emancipate the teen parent. Although adolescents ages sixteen and seventeen, whether they are parents or not, may seek emancipation, being a parent in itself does not affect a teen’s emancipation status.

A teen parent can use his or her responsibility as a parent to support his or her petition for emancipation though. Emancipation is the process of legally becoming an adult. In many cases, a young man or woman is automatically emancipated on his or her eighteenth birthday. This means that he or she may enter legally-binding contracts. For a teenage parent, emancipation may be an attractive option because it would give him or her the ability to do the following:

  • Apply for public assistance through Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

  • Renting an apartment or house.

  • Qualifying for public housing assistance.

  • Marrying his or her child’s other parent without parental permission.

  • Managing his or her own finances without parental involvement.

If your teenage son or daughter is considering petitioning for emancipation, bring him or her to a qualified family attorney to discuss the legal aspects of emancipation. Along with the rights listed above, he or she will also no longer be entitled to benefits through you. That means an end to any medical, automobile, and other insurance benefits on your family insurance plan.

How Can a Teen Petition for Emancipation?

To become emancipated, an adolescent must prove that he or she has the maturity necessary to become legally and financially independent of his or her parents.

The young man or woman must file a motion for emancipation with the court. He or she must then provide adequate support for his or her petition, which can include school transcripts, pay stubs, and testimonies from teachers and other adults. This evidence must prove that he or she is capable of handling his or her own financial and legal issues. Teens who have consistent work histories are much more likely to be awarded emancipation than those who do not. If the court decides the teen can function independently, it will award him or her emancipation. If not, it will dismiss the case. If an emancipation motion is rejected, the young adult may appeal it.

For quality legal advice you can trust, call The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at 732-370-9596. When you call, you can schedule a free legal consultation with a member of our firm who can advise you and your teen about the emancipation process and whether he or she is a strong candidate. If so, we can support him or her through the next steps of becoming a legal adult. Contact us today to begin working with our firm. We proudly serve families in Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, and Burlington counties.

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