How to File an Emancipation Petition

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Step 1

Obtain and fill out the required forms for your state for emancipation. These forms vary by state, but usually include a general petition for declaration of emancipation of minor, and an form listing your expenses and sources of income. You may have to make copies of these forms or other documents.

Step 2

File the required forms in your local circuit court. You can usually bring the forms into the court clerk's office during business hours.

Step 3

Pay the required filing fee with a check or money order. Depending on your state, these fees can range between $100 and $300. Some states allow you to request a waiver of the fee if you cannot afford it, however, keep in mind that one of the tenets of emancipation is proving your ability to fully support yourself financially. If you cannot afford the fee, you may want to reconsider emancipation.

Step 4

Wait for the scheduling of your hearing, or in some cases, an official waiver of hearing. Depending on your location and circumstances, a judge may require you and your parents or guardian to attend a hearing, unless your parents/guardian sign a waiver. In these cases, the court may be able to rule on your case without a hearing.

Step 5

Attend any hearings that are scheduled, if necessary. You may usually bring relevant witnesses to testify on your behalf during a hearing, such as landlords, employers, teachers, or counselors.


About the Author

A writer and professional lab assistant based in Seattle, Kate Bruscke has been writing professionally about health care and technology since 1998. Her freelance clients include "The Seattle Times,", Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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