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What should i do over this year to be prepared to be emancipated? Will i need an attorney?

Columbus, GA |

i turn 15 in less than a month. I live in GA and the state laws state that i have to be 16 to be emancipated. I need all the information i can get about this.

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Attorney answers 2


Generally, but without getting into a lot of specifics, you would mainly need to support yourself, and have a bona fide independent living space to go to upon emancipation. The court wants to ensure that you are not merely going from one dependency situation to another (i.e., from one person's home to another's home; and from a parent being the primary caregiver for you re: basic necessities and paying your financial obligations to another parent or a third party). Also, you would have to argue that the emancipation would be in your "best interests," including showing that emancipation would not unreasonably harm you, place you in possible danger, and/or you run the risk of not being able to support yourself and be independent over the long term and for the foreseeable future.

In the alternative, I strongly advise that since it sounds like there are substantial familial issues involved you may be best served trying to first deal with those issues, including possible group/family therapy with a therapist, thinking more about what you want to do with your life (as you can't ordinarily undo an emancipation once it occurs), and seeing if there are ways of still preparing for the future (esp. for age 18 and possible college) but not moving out on your own just yet because living on one's own and having to entirely support one's self is no easy task, esp. when you don't already have a substantial education, work history and/or experience to fall back on if necessary. Good luck.


Emancipations are very rare, especially for someone just turning 16. You'd have to prove to a court that you could support yourself, that you were mature enough to care for yourself and that it was in your best interests. It would be very prudent to discuss the details with a lawyer. But before doing that, make sure you have a job which pays enough to cover rent, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, etc.

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