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My Teenager Just Became A Parent. Is He Or She Emancipated?

  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: July 14, 2023
My Teenager Just Became A Parent. Is He Or She Emancipated

No. Having a baby as a teen does not emancipate the teen parent. Although adolescents ages sixteen and seventeen, whether they are parents or not, may seek emancipation, being a parent in itself does not affect a teen’s emancipation status.

A teen parent can use his or her responsibility as a parent to support his or her petition for emancipation though. Emancipation is the process of legally becoming an adult. In many cases, a young man or woman is automatically emancipated on his or her eighteenth birthday. This means that he or she may enter legally-binding contracts. For a teenage parent, emancipation may be an attractive option because it would give him or her the ability to do the following:

  • Apply for public assistance through Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
  • Renting an apartment or house.
  • Qualifying for public housing assistance.
  • Marrying his or her child’s other parent without parental permission.
  • Managing his or her own finances without parental involvement.

If your teenage son or daughter is considering petitioning for emancipation, bring him or her to a qualified family attorney to discuss the legal aspects of emancipation. Along with the rights listed above, he or she will also no longer be entitled to benefits through you. That means an end to any medical, automobile, and other insurance benefits on your family insurance plan.

What Are Good Reasons For Emancipation?

Emancipation, the legal recognition that a teenager is independent from their parents or guardians in Manasquan, New Jersey, can be pursued for various valid reasons. Some include:

Financial Independence

If a teenager can demonstrate the ability to financially support themselves, it can be a strong reason for emancipation. This might involve having a stable job, managing their own finances, and covering their living expenses.

Educational Aspirations

A teenager seeking to emancipate may be doing so to further their education. If they can show that they are responsible for their own educational expenses and are committed to their studies, this can be a compelling reason.

Marriage Or Parenthood

Emancipation may also be sought if a teenager gets married or becomes a parent. These life-changing events can signify a level of maturity and responsibility.

Emotional Stability

In cases where a teenager can otherwise demonstrate emotional maturity and stability, it may be considered a good reason for emancipation.

How Does A Teenager Get Emancipation?

Getting emancipated as a teenager in New Jersey is somewhat involved, consisting of a process that includes various criteria and steps:

Consult With An Emancipation Lawyer

Begin by seeking the advice of an emancipation lawyer or a family emancipation attorney. They can assess your situation and guide you through the process.

Meet Age And Residency Requirements

In New Jersey, you must be at least 16 years old to seek emancipation and have lived in the state for a specific duration. Your attorney can help ensure you meet these criteria.

File A Petition

With the assistance of your attorney, file a petition for emancipation in the family court of the county where you reside.

Gather Evidence

You’ll need to provide evidence that you’re financially independent or have a valid reason for seeking emancipation. This may include financial records, educational plans, or other supporting documents.

Court Hearing

Attend a court hearing where a judge will review your case. The judge will consider your evidence, your ability to support yourself, and your reasons for wanting emancipation in their determination.

Court Decision

If the judge grants emancipation, you’ll become legally independent from your parents or guardians. If not, you may need to explore other options or address any concerns the court raises.

Remember that navigating the emancipation process can be complex, and having experienced emancipation lawyers involved in your case is crucial to ensure your case stands on solid grounds.

How Can A Teen Petition For Emancipation?

To become emancipated, an adolescent must prove that he or she has the maturity necessary to become legally and financially independent of his or her parents.

The young man or woman must file a motion for emancipation with the court. He or she must then provide adequate support for his or her petition, which can include school transcripts, pay stubs, and testimonies from teachers and other adults. This evidence must prove that he or she is capable of handling his or her own financial and legal issues. Teens who have consistent work histories are much more likely to be awarded emancipation than those who do not. If the court decides the teen can function independently, it will award him or her emancipation. If not, it will dismiss the case. If an emancipation motion is rejected, the young adult may appeal it.

For quality legal advice you can trust, call The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at (732) 365-3299. When you call, you can schedule a free legal consultation with a member of our firm who can advise you and your teen about the emancipation process and whether he or she is a strong candidate. If so, we can support him or her through the next steps of becoming a legal adult. Contact us today to begin working with our firm. We proudly serve families in Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, and Burlington counties.

Eric Hannum, Esq.

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