Ask A Lawyer: What Do I Need To Do For An Emancipation?



Are there papers that you must fill out at the time of a child’s emancipation?  Otherwise, what is the procedure?


Assuming you are referring to emancipation due to attaining the legal age of majority (e.g. 18), other than perhaps a birthday card, there are no additional procedures to confirm emancipation unless there is a need to submit paperwork to an employer or other payor to stop child support withholding.  If child support is being withheld from income, the withholding notice or order should have included a termination date such as the 18th birthday of the child.  If a termination date was not set forth in the child support notice or order to the employer or other payor, you may need to obtain a court order or notice confirming the termination date in order for the employer or other payor to stop the withholding.  Emancipation prior to the legal age of majority may also be the result of the marriage or self-sufficiency of the minor, both of which may involve court approval providing the necessary paperwork.   If your state provides for non-minor support for education to be paid by the parents, you may have to pursue post-emancipation proceedings to address the contributions of each parent and the child towards college or vocational school.  If there is an issue that the child is physically or mentally disabled, then proceedings to obtain a guardianship or non-minor support may be necessary.  You would need to review these issues with an experienced domestic litigation attorney licensed in your state.      



Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues. 

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3 comments on “Ask A Lawyer: What Do I Need To Do For An Emancipation?

    Emancipation – where and what exactly do you need for paperwork and proof
    what paperwork do you need when you go to emancipate a minor at the age of 16 and do you need proof of any information of the roof and of the living and cost such as a billed(paid full)what if some of the reasons are verbal/physical abuse,mental stress, depression, ect is some of the cause. would that be acceptable?

    We are in Minnesota the child is 19 years old and does have some special needs qualifying him for guardianship. He is not in school any longer as he graduated. Custodial parent is filing for full guardianship. Could that mean future fees for the noncustodial dad -parent for him? child-support has ended year ago.

    I am a child in the custody agreement between my parents out of the state of Nebraska, I live in Iowa with my mother, she states that I cannot move out or marry until I am 19, but since I am 18, and an Iowa resident, shouldn’t I be able to move out after I graduate High School? Or do I have to abide by Nebraska’s laws and wait until I am 19?

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