New Jersey Child Emancipation Lawyer
Parents typically retain legal custody and authority over their children until they reach the age of 18, at minimum. However, there are some situations in which a child who is not yet of legal age can gain legal independence, typically by pursuing emancipation through the court system. If you are considering this option for yourself, or your child wishes to become emancipated, you should contact a New Jersey child emancipation lawyer as soon as possible. A dedicated attorney could advise you on your legal rights in this situation and help you navigate the process.
Definition of Emancipation
Emancipation means that a child is taken out of their parents’ sphere of influence. This typically happens either after graduation from high school or upon conclusion of their post-secondary education on a continuous basis. This means that if someone graduates from high school and does not go on to post-secondary education, they may often be considered emancipated. If they went to college and attended continuously, they would usually not be considered emancipated until graduation.
However, in New Jersey, a child who has not reached either of these milestones or legal age may be able to become emancipated through the courts with the help of a knowledgeable attorney. To do so, the child must be at least 16 years of age.
Where Emancipation Cases are Heard
Cases involving the emancipation of a child are typically held in New Jersey’s Family Court, specifically in the Superior Court, Chancery Division – Family Part. Often, these cases do not make it to court, because the individuals involved have an agreement regarding the emancipation and are able to resolve any issues with the help of skilled counsel.
If the case is not resolved outside of court, an application will be made in court and a judge will make a determination. The judge will determine a number of factors when making their ruling, such as if the child has the means to be financially secure, procure their own living arrangements, and make important decisions for themselves.
Common Reasons for Emancipation
Children are typically emancipated when they graduate from post-secondary education. However, there are several common reasons for an earlier emancipation. For example, if a child went into the military or got married, they will be considered emancipated.
Once emancipation is granted, the parents will no longer have a legal obligation towards the child. They no longer have control over their child to make decisions, and they cannot make decisions on behalf of their child anymore.
The child, in turn, will no longer have a right to receive any kind of financial support, and they would essentially be on their own. However, it is important to note that becoming emancipated simply means that the child is released from both the control and support of a parent, and it does not mean that they have expanded rights regarding behaviors that their age alone does not allow for.
Consult a New Jersey Attorney for Help with Your Child Emancipation Case
A skilled New Jersey lawyer can be instrumental to the outcome of your child emancipation case, especially if there is an issue of dispute, by working with you to elicit the necessary proof to present to the court. These cases can be very nuanced, so it is crucial to have someone on your side who knows how to lay out the facts and is familiar with the applicable laws. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.