Responsible minors who have proven their ability to care for themselves may become legal adults before the age of 18. In Georgia, a minor is emancipated by law if he is legally married or is a member of the armed forces. A minor may petition the court for emancipation if those instances do not apply. After a lengthy process, the court will decide if the minor is able to live on his own as an adult.
Request a petition for emancipation from the Georgia juvenile court in the jurisdiction where you reside. The clerk at the courthouse can provide you with the forms. You will need to record your full birth name and birth date on the forms, as well as the county and state where you were born. Enter the last known address of your parents or the address of your nearest relative if you are unsure of where to locate your parents.
Declare that you are able to demonstrate that you have been successful in managing your financial and personal affairs. You may also include any information the court may find helpful in making its decision. Provide the names of any adults who are aware of your circumstances and have observed your ability to care for yourself. This could include an attorney, clergyman, doctor or psychologist. Attach to the petition a certified copy of your birth certificate.
File the petition with the clerk at the courthouse. A hearing will be scheduled and the court will serve copies of the petition to your parents and/or any other adults you listed in the petition. They will be given 30 days to respond to the petition. The court may order an investigation and possibly appoint an attorney to represent you. It could also request a sworn statement from the adults who support your emancipation.
Go to the court hearing. You have the burden to show the court that it should grant your emancipation. Regardless of whether your parents object, the court will base its decision on what is in your best interest. The court will not grant emancipation if you can not prove you are able to handle your affairs pertaining to housing, finances and other adult personal matters.
- A minor who is considered a legal adult through emancipation still may not vote or buy alcohol until he reaches the legal age as required by law.
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