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Children's Law

Filing the Petition for Emancipation

When this is filed at the circuit clerk’s office in the county where you live, you will need a money order for the court filing fee (currently $165). When filing your petition, ask the clerk to give you the phone number of the judge’s case coordinator. The case coordinator can set a time for you to visit with the judge concerning your petition.

Make sure to get three copies of the file-marked petition. You will need to file one with the clerk, keep one for your records, and serve one copy of the file marked petition to your parents if they will not consent to the emancipation.

If Your Parents Do Consent

Enclosed in this packet is a waiver of service and entry of appearance that should be completed by each of your parents if they consent to the emancipation. If they consent to the emancipation, file each waiver with the clerk where you filed the petition for emancipation.

Once that is filed, then you can request a hearing regarding the emancipation by contacting the judge’s case coordinator. You will need to take a copy of the order enclosed in this packet with you to the hearing.

If Your Parents Do Not Consent

You can serve your parents with the Petition for Emancipation via certified mail, personal service, or warning order. If you serve your parents via certified mail, it will cost you approximately $12 per address. You can get a certified mailing from your local post office. If you must serve your parents via personal service, it will cost you $50 to have them served by the sheriff. You will take a copy of the petition for emancipation and a summons with a return of service to the sheriff’s office with a $50 money order. Once you are notified that the sheriff has served our parents, file the return of service with the clerk’s office unless the sheriff has done so for you. If you do not know where your parents are 

located, you can serve them via Warning Order and Publication. Should this be the necessary step, you should contact your local newspaper to see how much it will cost to have your petition published in the local newspaper for a period of two weeks. You will need to see the Warning Order fact sheet on our website to understand how to proceed at that point.

After Serving Your Parents

Once your parents are served, they have 30 days to respond to your petition. If your parents do not file an Answer to the Petition, then you will be able to have your disabilities removed by default, meaning that your parents did not contest the removal.

If your parents do file an objection, then they will come to the hearing to inform the judge of why they will not consent to the emancipation. Be prepared to combat any reason that your parent might have that you should not have your disabilities removed.

Granting the Petition

If the judge will grant the petition, they will sign and date the 4th sheet, which is the order. Once this is done, take it back to the circuit clerk’s office, file it, and you will have your emancipation. Ask the circuit clerk for a certified copy to keep with you always.