Emancipation allows minors under the age of 18 to act as an adult in certain situations. In Georgia, you can get emancipated if you get married, join the military or successfully file a petition and receive a Declaration of Emancipation from the juvenile court. You're also emancipated when you turn 18.
Emancipation in Georgia
Once you're emancipated, you may make decisions regarding your best interest and well-being. Emancipation does not allow you to engage in activities limited by age, such as voting, drinking or purchasing alcohol.
Attain the Age of 16
For emancipation in Georgia, you'll have to be a legal resident of Georgia.
Inform Your Parent(s) or Guardian
You must tell those responsible for your welfare of your intent to request emancipation.
Obtain a "Petition for the Emancipation of a Minor"
Request this from the juvenile court in your county of jurisdiction (djj.state.ga.us). Contact the juvenile court in your area and inquire about the correct forms because they may vary by county.
Include all Relevant Information on the Petition
Your full name, date, county and state of birth are needed on the petition. Provide a certified copy of your birth certificate. List the names and last known address for each parent or guardian. Provide the name and address of your nearest living Georgia relative, if the whereabouts of your parent or guardian is unknown or your parent or guardian is deceased. Your petition must include your present address, length of time at the address and a statement showing your ability to manage your financial, personal and social responsibilities.
Contact Individuals Who Know Your Situation
Ask them to provide affidavits supporting your petition. These individuals must believe that emancipation is in your best interest. You may ask a physician, nurse, psychologist, guidance counselor or teacher. Your minister, principal or social worker may also attest to the fact that emancipation is a valid option. Provide the full name and address for each individual.
File the Petition in Your County of Residence
The juvenile court clerk will serve a copy of the petition and a summons to appear in court to all individuals named in your petition. This includes the individuals who provided affidavits in support of your petition. The individuals will have 30 days to file an answer to your petition. Upon receiving your petition, the court may appoint counsel or a guardian ad Litem to act on your behalf.
You must show that emancipation is in your best interest if your parent or guardian objects. Make copies of documentation showing you have a job or other financial support to show that you are financially responsible. Public assistance does not satisfy this requirement. To show you have the ability to manage your personal and social affairs, bring proof to court that you are enrolled in school, have a residence or whatever verification you can. You're the one who has to convince the court you should be emancipated, so the more evidence you can bring, the better. If you cannot show that emancipation is in your best interest, the court will deny your petition.
Attend the Hearing
If your emancipation petition is approved, the judge will sign the Declaration of Emancipation and file it with the juvenile court. A copy of the declaration will remain on file until you turn 25 years old.
Consult with an attorney, if you have questions regarding your emancipation petition.