When a resident of Maryland hits 18, he or she is considered an adult, with most of the incumbent legal responsibilities. But what happens if someone younger than 18 decides to divorce his or her parents? Is it possible, legally, to become an emancipated minor?
According to The People’s Law Library of Maryland, the answer is yes. Emancipation may be granted if a person has married or joined the military; if a parent has agreed to concede some or all of his or her parental rights; or if there has been some parental misconduct such as abuse or neglect.
A classic example is the 1943 case in which a child petitioned for emancipation because parents tried to control the wages the child was earning.
A common, critical component in all emancipation cases is that there has to be some mutual action between the parent and the child. The parent must consent to emancipation, for example, or the minor seeking emancipation must prove abuse or neglect. If a case does go to court, it is up to the minor in question to prove his or her case for emancipation.
There is no clear procedure for becoming emancipated in Maryland. Instead, the judge relies on common law and bases his or her decision on statements from past judges and common practices. That leaves the seeker of emancipation without a clear, one- or two-step process for filing for emancipation. Instead, it depends on who the petitioner is and the goals of filing for emancipation.
In Maryland, the circuit court holds jurisdiction over emancipation claims. One of our skilled family law attorneys can provide the knowledgeable legal guidance you need. To schedule a consultation with a reputable Towson divorce lawyer, call Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC today at (443) 589-0150 or contact us online.
Our offices are conveniently located in Hunt Valley, East Pikesville and Towson MD enabling us to serve clients throughout Carroll County, Baltimore County, Harford County and Howard County including the areas of Bel Air, Essex, Columbia, Baltimore and Towson.