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Chicago Minor Emancipation Attorneys

What Is Legal Emancipation?

Minor emancipation is not something that many would consider ideal, but it is sometimes necessary for the wellbeing of a child. Typically, it is the parents who are responsible for the care and welfare of a child. It is their legal duty to provide that care until a minor is at least 18 years old. That care includes the financial obligation to feed, clothe, house, and educate a child.

Emancipation is a court order that can be issued to a mature minor between the ages of 16 and 18 which allows for a child to live independently from their guardians. This does not grant the emancipated minor the full privileges of adulthood, such as voting rights or the ability to purchase alcohol, but it does give them the ability to enter contracts and decide where they want to live and attend school. Emancipation is granted to minors who can show that they are self-sufficient and do not need to rely on their parents or guardians to thrive.

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What Circumstances Lead to Emancipation in Chicago?

Conflict with teenagers at home is a tale as old as time, but it is not the sole deciding factor in emancipating a minor entirely. In some cases, families may try a temporary change of residence where the minor may live with a relative or friend while trying to resolve any internal issues before going through the legal route of emancipation.

Unfortunately, many minors live independently of their parents and support themselves without the ability to legally enter contracts such as an apartment lease due to state age requirements. This is when emancipation could be the ideal route. An emancipation decree allows for the child who is already supporting themself to enter into a legally binding contract without the permission of a parent or guardian who is not caring for the underage person as they should be, or no longer need to.

The emancipated minor can also gain access to certain government programs to assist them as they build their lives. There may be circumstances in which a working minor’s earnings have far surpassed that of their guardian, and the guardian may be misappropriating the child’s funds. If that is the case, the child may seek emancipation to gain control over their own finances. A Chicago minor emancipation attorney can help guide you through the process of filing and obtaining legal emancipation status.

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Minor Emancipation Court Process

For the court to consider emancipating a child from their parents or legal guardians they must be able to show:

  • The minor can live completely independently of the parents’ home
  • The minor has the maturity to maintain a job
  • The minor can financially take care of themselves without support from the parents
  • The minor is responsible for their actions and can manage their own affairs

The court will also consider the child’s age along with where they are in their education. Some parents will heavily contest a petition for emancipation. If that is the case, the judge will hear both sides and then decide if they will grant the minor legal emancipation status. To get in front of a judge, a legal professional must file the petition to the court on the child’s behalf. The judge may allow or deny the petition. Either way, that decision may always be appealed in appellate court. The process of emancipation is never taken lightly, and an experienced Chicago family law attorney will be able to guide you through the legalese of Illinois domestic court proceedings.

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What Are Parental Obligations After Emancipation?

In the state of Illinois, a judge may grant a petition for emancipation that can be partial emancipation or complete emancipation. This is decided by the specific circumstances of each minor on a case-by-case basis. Complete emancipation cuts the ties of the legal responsibilities the guardians have for the child. In a partial emancipation, the parents may still retain certain legal duties or rights concerning the child that sought emancipation. Partially emancipated minors live independently of their parents but require some financial support.

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Contact Our Chicago Emancipation of a Minor Attorneys

Emancipating a minor is a legal process that should be handled with the utmost care and consideration by a qualified professional. The attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP, are both experienced and highly qualified in handling Chicago family law cases. We have the knowledge and skills to bring your emancipation request before the court. We want to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Give our office a call to speak to a member of our team today, at (312) 332-2915.

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