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Emancipation: What you Need to Know

Emancipation is a legal way for children to become adults before they are 18. A child’s parents no longer have custody over someone who has been emancipated.

If you are emancipated, you can do the following without your parent's permission:

  • get medical care

  • apply for a work permit

  • sign up for school or college

  • live where you want to

  • receive your own survivor or disability check

  • sign up for housing benefits

If you are emancipated, you will give up the right to be supported by your parents. If you have a legal guardian, all the information in the above section about "parents" also applies to your legal guardian.

Even if you are emancipated:

  • you must still go to school

  • you cannot get married without your parent's permission

  • you will usually go to juvenile court if you break the law, but you could be tried as an adult

  • child labor laws and work permit rules must be followed

  • you cannot drink alcohol until you are 21

  • statutory rape laws still apply