The last time I checked, which was admittedly long ago the minor may have a next friend petition for the removal of the disabilities of minority in the chancery court in the county the minor resides. In the petition, among other things, the reasons why the minor wishes the removal of disabilities must be stated. The court may grant partial or general emancipation. If general emancipation is granted, the minor will have all of the rights of an 18 year old, including the right to contract and buy and sell property. See Tenn Code Ann. §§ 29-31-101 to 29-31-105. Perhaps a local attorney will chime in with more current and/or detailed info. Good luck!
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Attorney Brown is correct. You really need to be fully emancipated which will give you all of the rights that you would otherwise have as an 18 year-old adult. To do this you will likely need to hire an attorney. If you are unable to afford an attorney, then you may want to check with Legal Aid of East Tennessee to see if they will take your case or refer you to a local attorney that will be willing to work with you for a reduced fee.
For your convenience I am including a link to a pamphlet produced by Legal Aid of East Tennessee that can answer basic questions regarding emancipation. Copy and paste the following link into your browser's address bar and it should take you directly to the document.
While there is more to the process, the basic concept is that you must ask the court to make an exception to the requirement that you turn 18 before you are legally recognized as an adult. You, your parents or your attorney will need to fill out an application to the court stating your name, your age, your parents’ names and their address. You will also need to provide an explanation to the court regarding why you should be emancipated.
Remember that what you are asking is to legally become an adult and assume all responsibilities that are associated with becoming an adult. The judge will want to know where you plan to live, how you plan to support yourself (and your child), whether or not you have graduated from high school and if not, whether you plan to graduate or take your GED.
Although I don't travel to Sullivan County for court case, if you need additional general information I would be happy to speak with you by phone. (423) 822-8300.
Best of Luck.
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