If you are a minor who desires the freedom to legally make decisions on your own behalf without your parents or legal guardian's consent, you can seek an emancipation to obtain the same rights and obligations as an adult. Most minors seek emancipation to marry, run a business or separate themselves from less than beneficial circumstances at home, and minors seeking emancipation are typically required to prove their ability to care for themselves. While Minnesota statutes do not provide grounds or procedures for a Minnesota emancipation, the state usually allows minors to acquire an emancipation via marriage or parental consent and court rulings.
Minnesota Emancipation via Marriage
Obtain a marriage license application from your county court's website or in person at the county court clerk's office.
Complete the application detailing your name, contact information and Social Security number. If your future spouse was previously married, he must obtain a copy of his divorce decree and attach the copy to your marriage license application.
Obtain a written statement from your parents, and your future spouse's parents if his is a minor as well, which provides their permission for you to marry as a minor. Your parents must word the written statements according to the rules in Minnesota Statute 517.02. A notary public must notarize the letter before submitting it with the marriage license application.
Visit the county clerk's office in person to sign the marriage license application and pay the marriage license fee. The county clerk will give you a date to return to pick up your marriage license. If you want a civil ceremony to celebrate your union in the courts, ask the county clerk for a list of judges who perform marriages. You must contact the judge yourself to schedule a civil ceremony.
Minnesota Emancipation via Parental Consent
Draft a petition in which you seek to remove your parents or guardians as your legal conservators. State your name and contact information in the petition and identify if you currently live with or apart from your parents.
State your parents' name, place of residence and the reasons you want an emancipation. Provide supporting documents such as high school transcripts to show your educational success and income statements if you support yourself. The courts will be more likely to grant an emancipation if you are an outstanding student or own a business or earn a living which allows you to take care of yourself independent of your parents' financial aid. Ask your parents to sign the petition and attach all supplemental documents that aid in supporting your reasons for requesting the emancipation.
File the petition at your county family court's clerk office and pay the filing fee. The county clerk will sign the petition and will give you a court notice listing the date and time of your emancipation hearing, which your parents must attend with you.
Attend your court hearing with your parents at the scheduled time. Answer all of the judge's questions truthfully and refrain from interrupting while he speaks. This will make a favorable impression on the judge and increase your changes of gaining emancipation. If the judge decides to grant an emancipation, follow his orders to make changes to records such as your driver's license.
If you are seeking an emancipation as a result of dangerous or unsafe living circumstances with your parents or legal guardian, request a child in need of protection order with your local juvenile court to seek an independent living situation, which is equivalent to an emancipation.
Things You'll Need
Marriage license application
- Minnesota Office of Revisor of Statutes: Minnesota Statutes--Persons Capable of Contracting Marriage
- Minnesota Legislative Reference Library: Legal Age in Minnesota
- Minnesota House of Representatives: Youth and Law
- Texas Constitution and States: Removal of Disabilities of Minority
- Pima County Arizona Juvenile Court: Emancipation in Arizona FAQ
- Hidalgo County, Texas: Example Civil Case Information Sheet