Can I get emancipated at 17?

Asked almost 4 years ago - Bull Shoals, AR

I am a seventeen years old and decided to move in with my dad last year. I have come to find that was a very horrible mistake. I have managed to live here for a year and a half. I have six months until I turn eighteen. I really want to move out before then, but, I'm 100% sure they would be completely opposed to the idea. If I even brought up the idea of emancipation, they would bite my head off. I have a job which makes a very good income. I know it would be hard, but, I know I could do it on my own. I can not stand to live here anymore. Should I even consider emancipation, or wait out another terrible six months?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. John Otis Russo

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . You must be at least 17 years old to be emancipated from your parents and be able to show that you are financially independent. The law in Arkansas is as follows:

    9-27-362. Emancipation of juveniles.

    (a) A petition for emancipation may be filed in a circuit court by any
    party to a dependency-neglect, dependency, family in need of services, or
    delinquency case.

    (b) The petition shall be served along with a notice of hearing to the
    juvenile's parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian.

    (c) The circuit court may emancipate a juvenile in a
    dependency-neglect, dependency, family in need of services, or
    delinquency case.

    (d)(1) The court may emancipate the juvenile after a hearing on the
    petition if the petitioner shows by a preponderance of the evidence that:

    (A) The juvenile is at least seventeen (17) years of age;

    (B) The juvenile is willing to live separate and apart from his or her
    parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian;

    (C) The juvenile has an appropriate place to live;

    (D) The juvenile has been managing or has the ability to manage his or
    her own financial affairs;

    (E) The juvenile has a legal source of income, such as employment or a
    trust fund;

    (F) The juvenile has health care coverage or a realistic plan on how to
    meet his or her health needs;

    (G) The juvenile agrees to comply with the compulsory school attendance
    laws; and

    (H) Emancipation is in the best interest of the juvenile.

    (2) The court shall consider the wishes of the parent, legal guardian,
    or legal custodian in making its decision.

    (3) If the juvenile has an attorney ad litem, the court shall consider
    the recommendation of the attorney ad litem.

    (e) An order of emancipation has the following effects:

    (1) The juvenile has the right to obtain and consent to all medical
    care, including counseling;

    (2) The juvenile has the right to enter into contracts;

    (3) The juvenile has the right to enroll himself or herself in school,
    college, or other educational programs;

    (4) The juvenile has the right to obtain a driver's license without
    consent of a parent or other adult so long as the juvenile complies with
    the remaining requirements of the driver's license law;

    (5) The juvenile's parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian is no
    longer legally responsible for the juvenile;

    (6) The juvenile may still be charged with a delinquency and prosecuted
    in juvenile court;

    (7) The juvenile may not marry without parental permission pursuant to
    § 9-11-102;

    (8) The juvenile is not relieved from compulsory school attendance;

    (9) The department is not relieved from the responsibility of providing
    independent living services and funding for which the juvenile is
    eligible upon request by the juvenile;

    (10) Child support orders are not terminated but may cease upon entry
    of an order from the court that issued the order of child support;

    (11) Until the juvenile reaches the age of majority, the juvenile
    remains eligible for federal programs and services as a juvenile;

    (12) The juvenile is not permitted to obtain items prohibited for sale
    to or possession by a minor, such as tobacco or alcohol;

    (13) The juvenile remains subject to state and federal laws enacted for
    the protection of persons under eighteen (18) years of age such as the
    prohibition against a juvenile's obtaining a tattoo; and

    (14) No statute of limitations is affected.

    History. Acts 2005, No. 1990, § 19; 2009, No. 956, § 24.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. James R Fridie III


    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . It all depends on the law in Arkansas. In New Jersey where I practice, there is not an age requirement to become emancipated. A person is considered emancipated when they operate outside the sphere of influence of their parents, this usually means that the person is fully self sufficient. I'd recommend that you speak to a family law attorney in Arkansas to advise you further.

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