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New York has a clear rules regarding the emancipation of minors, but it’s best to have a lawyer who specializes in emancipation of minors ensure that any separation is done in a clean, law-abiding manner. If you are a minor considering emancipation or if you are a parent of a child who wishes to be emancipated, here are a few things you should know:

Emancipation laws depend on age.

Different rules apply to children or dependents who are under age 18 or over age 18.

Emancipation for children or dependents over age 18

While New York requires parents or guardians to financially support their children until they turn age 21, if a child or dependent is emancipated the rules are different. A child or dependent is considered emancipated if the child or dependent:

  • Has gotten married
  • Is serving as a member of the military
  • Has completed a four-year college
  • Is over 18 and employed full-time, year-round
  • Has permanently moved out of the parent or guardian’s home and terminated the relationship without grounds

Emancipation for children or dependents under age 18

For children under the age of 18, emancipation can legally happen if the court comes to the decision during a case. However, a child cannot bring the case for emancipation to court. The decision needs to be a result of another case. Here are a few other things to note about emancipation of children or dependents under age 18:
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  • The child or dependent cannot live with the parent(s), permanently or temporarily
  • The child or dependent may not receive money from their parent(s), with the exception of child support and social security benefits
  • The child or dependent must be employed
  • The child or dependent may not be “in foster care or under court supervision

An emancipated child or dependent under age 18 has rights…

Unlike a minor who must live with their parent or guardian and obey their rules, an emancipated minor can:

  • Keep his or her income
  • Reside in his or her own home
  • Attend school in the neighborhood of their home, not their parent or guardian’s school district
  • Qualify for public assistance, separate from their parent or guardian’s financial circumstances
  • Petition the court for child support, which the court may mandate a parent or guardian must pay (Note: This applies to children who were forced out of their parent or guardian’s home)

…but those rights have some restrictions.

If an emancipated minor is under the age of 18, the emancipated minor will still need parental permission for several things. These include:

  • Obtaining working papers, a learner’s permit or driver’s license
  • Receiving routine health care (Exceptions apply to emergencies and other situations)
  • Permission to marry

If you’ve decided to pursue emancipation:

The process of becoming an emancipated minor is difficult for children or dependents under the age of 18. If you have a current or pending court case, and you want to know whether or not it could result in emancipation from your parent(s) or guardian, you should consult a New York emancipation of minors lawyer. Working with a lawyer who specializes in emancipation of minors can help you get the outcome you desire. Your lawyer can also help you understand the implications of the law and the results of the case, whether the court rules in your favor or not.

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