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Legal Routes of Complete Emancipation for Minors

Parents are responsible for their child’s welfare until they reach the legal age of majority, which in most cases is 18 years. In some cases, however, minors may be legally emancipated. They are then free to make their decisions without need of parental control and support.

These include choices on where they will live, schooling, and employment among other life choices. There are various legal routes a family law attorney in Denver, Colorado may offer when there is emancipation to consider. Here are some of these routes.

 Military Enlistment

Enlisting in the military service results in emancipation from parental authority. A minor must be seventeen years and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent to be eligible for military service. In this case, the care of the minor becomes the government’s responsibility. Some states allow seventeen-year-olds to join the military without parental consent.


In the event of a marriage, a minor’s care becomes the responsibility of his/her spouse. Different states have different legal obligations that ought to be met before minors are married. In most states, the minor’s parent or guardian must be present in court during the application for a marriage license. The minor should also have reached the state’s age of consent.

Petition to the Court Due to Parental Misconduct

In some cases of parental or guardian misconduct, the court might grant minors complete emancipation. These include instances of proven parental failure to support, neglect or abuse. The minor should be at least sixteen years to receive emancipation through the court. They should also be financially stable and mature enough to make decisions. If the minor is not capable of providing for himself/herself, the court may grant partial emancipation.

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Both minors and parents may file for emancipation. There are various legal ramifications of the above complete emancipation routes. It is hence prudent to discuss all the specifics regarding emancipation in your state before choosing this route.

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