Am I an emancipated minor?

Asked over 2 years ago - Edison, NJ

I'm 20 years old in New Jersey. I'm filing for FASFA and it says that I need court papers in order to prove that I'm an emancipated minor. I go to college, I've filled my own income tax, I have my own apartment. I don't depend on my parents at all so do I still have to file for a petition at court or since I'm 20 am I already a emancipated minor? Am I even considered a minor anymore?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christopher Barrett Fay

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . I believe you're seeking independent student status for financial aid purposes. Some students are assumed to be independent, for instance if you're over age 24 or a veteran of the armed services, this seems to be assumed.

    In your case it appears that court papers such as an order declaring you emancipated would be considered if you are trying to obtain financial aid without your parents' income being included towards your college cost contribution. Your school's financial aid department should be able to help you complete the forms properly and organize the documentation required for you to be eligible for financial aid independent of your parents.

    Emancipation is typically filed by one parent seeking to discontinue child support. If needed, you could file a motion to have yourself declared emancipated by the court. The court would consider the factual circumstances to determine if you are still dependent on your parents for support and within their sphere of influence financially.

    Especially if you are estranged from your parents and truly independent financially from them, such a motion may be necessary in your case, particularly if you don't have sufficient documentation proving your financial independence for FAFSA. You should ask your financial aid office what is needed for a professional override in calculating your aid package. You would need financial documentation that proves you are self-sufficient, including proof you pay your own rent, utilities, and other costs of living. Bank statements and copies of cashed checks towards those expenses would probably be helpful.

    Good luck,

    The Law Office of Christopher Barrett Fay, 1325 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19107,, (267)... more
  2. Yolanda Navarrete


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I am not too familiar with what FAFSA requires, but you are not legally a minor. I think if you sent proof that you support yourself, it should be sufficient.

  3. Ronald Glenn Lieberman


    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . You may not wish to be emancipated if you can obtain more college loans, etc., if you remain so. But, likely a judge will want to know how you pay your expenses.

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