How to Divorce Your Parents

Married couples can divorce while lovers can break a relationship, but what can be done if you want to leave your own parents. There can be certain times when you don’t want to stay with your parents and cannot leave the house as you are still not 18. This is the time when the question strikes the mind as, ‘How to divorce your parents?’ Well, in the US if you want to divorce your parents, you can request for ‘Emancipation’ that will relieve your parents of any responsibility and control for you. But not all the US states have laws that allow it to be done. First you need to know whether the state where you reside have the provision for Emancipation and then you can proceed further.

Divorce your parents

But why a child would want to leave his parents? Well, no parent is perfect and there can be various reasons behind children wishing to divorce their parents. Some of the reasons include: toxicity in the relationship, verbal abuse, physical abuse, mental torture, and so on. A minor may also seek emancipation for reasons such as marriage, teen pregnancy, joining the military or just to be an independent adult.

What is emancipation?

Emancipation is the legal act of declaring a child an adult and absolving the parent-child relationship in the eyes of the law before the child turns 18. In the US, as soon as one turns 18, they legally become an adult. It means they are automatically emancipated from parental custody and control.

Once children become emancipated legally, they can take decisions on their own regarding medical or psychiatric care. They may even make a will, sign a contrat, buy or sell property, and apply for a work permit without the need of parental consent. They must take care of their own financial affairs to support themselves. However a child still needs to attend school and cannot marry until reaching the age of 18 without the permission of their parents.

Before any children make the decision to file a petition for emancipation, they need to discuss their feelings with a neutral party, to determine exactly how bad the relationship with their parents is, how living separately can help them and so on. They also need to discuss this issue with one or both of their parents. If their parents are genuinely upset and are ready to make changes to make the relationship strong, they need to think again about their decision.

Check this video to know about the basic requirements for emancipation.

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The Process of Emancipation:

Emancipation is not allowed in all the US States and in the states where emancipation is legal, the process is quite similar. First you need to get the appropriate form for filing the petition for emancipation. You can get the form from the official website of the state or from the court in your states.

But before you file the petition for emancipation, you need to fulfill certain criteria such as you must be at least 14 years of age, you willingly want to live away from home,you can can manage your own finances with the help of a legitimate source of income. All these criteria help in convincing the court that emancipation would be in your best interests.


If you think you are a suitable candidate for emancipation, you can get the form and file the petition in the court for emancipation. Along with form you need to submit a statement explaining your current living situation, reasons behind emancipation and how you are financially self-sufficient. The average filing and court fee is about $250.00, plus the cost of your legally required attorney. The fees that lawyers charge for emancipation range from from $800 to $1000, if the petition is not contested by your parents. The cost for emancipation will be much higher if parental permission is not granted.

Once you file the petition, it is your duty to notify your parents about the petition for emancipation. But in case you think you don’t want to tell your parents yourself, you need to put your reasons in the court and then only alternate arrangements can be to inform your parents.

The judge will review your petition and the documents submitted by you. After reviewing the court can approve or deny the petition without a hearing, but in most cases a hearing date is given. If required the judge may request the parties to go for mediation before a final decision is made. In such kind of situation, another date will be given for the case.

On the next hearing date, the judge will want to know about the problems in your life from you as well as your parents. This is done to verify that things are in your favor. Once satisfied, the judge will give his approval to the final document called the Declaration of Emancipation.

You can get copies of the Declaration of Emancipation from the court. After that you need submit the copies to those people or organizations that require parental consent.

Here it is essential to know that after the Declaration of Emancipation is signed by the judge, the court does have the ability to revoke the order and notify the minor’s parents of the revocation.

To get some idea about child emancipation laws in the state of Colorado, you can check this useful video.
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Other Options:

Emancipation is a very heavy responsibility and must be taken very seriously. There are alternatives to emancipation as well that can be used to live separately from your parents. Such options include:

  • Family counseling or mediation service between you and your parents
  • Living with another responsible adult
  • Getting assistance from agencies (public or private)
  • Coming up with an informal agreement with your parents to allow you to live separately

Some Important Points:

  • Emancipation decrees are granted in very rare cases and the court have the right to withdraw such a decree before the minor becomes an adult as per law.
  • A judge will not grant emancipation if a child is unable to totally support him financially.
  • A child must be able to get and pay for their own medical, dental, and automobile insurance in order to get the emancipation order from the court.
  • Also a child must be able to pay all of his own bills and the source of income must be a legal one.
  • No matter what, after emancipation a child must finish high school or reach the age of 18.
  • Child labor laws still apply, which means a child simply can’t work as many hours as he may want.

To conclude, emancipation is a very big step in life and must be taken very seriously by any minor. Always try the alternatives to emancipation before taking any final step.

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