The Atlanta Family Law News Blog - Find an Atlanta Family Attorney

How Does Emancipation Work in Georgia?

How much do you know about the emancipation process in Georgia? Whether you have a child who is pondering it, are considering it yourself, or are just curious, emancipation is often a lengthy (and very difficult) process with rules that vary by state.

For example, is child considered a legal adult after emancipation? Or is he or she simply separated from his parents and still a minor? Also, how does one "apply" for emancipation?

Here's an overview:

Emancipation Basics in Georgia

If a teen wants to pursue emancipation in Georgia, there are several stages in this process. First off, all states have a minimum, statutory age for those pursuing emancipation. California's is one of the lowest, at 14. But, a teen in Georgia's may not petition for emancipation until age 16.

After a child submits an emancipation petition to a family court, that court will likely send a notice out to the child's parents. Then, in evaluating the petition for emancipation, the courts will consider several factors, including:

  • the child's financial independence,
  • his or her maturity level,
  • whether the child is able to manage his or her own personal and social affairs,
  • and the circumstances that led to the emancipation request.

Generally speaking, the courts will grant an emancipation request if it is in the minor's best interest. The courts also give parents an opportunity to object before deciding whether or not the factors of emancipation have been finally evaluated.

What Happens After Emancipation

Once a minor is emancipated, he or she doesn't become a full-fledged adult just yet. An emancipated minor does earn a whole new set of responsibilities, including sheltering his or herself and the management of his or her finances. Emancipated minors also have certain new legal privileges, such as the ability to buy or sell real estate, to write a will, to be a party in a lawsuit, and to enter into contracts.

However, emancipated minors still can't drink or vote until they reach the legal respective ages.

Related Resources: