As a general rule, children are not adults under the law, and do not have any of the rights of an adult until they are emancipated by operation of law at the age of 18, are legally married, or are on active duty in the United States Military. This means that children cannot chose where they live, including away from their parents without their parents’ permission (even if they are 17-1/2). If a minor child (someone under the age of 18) wishes to make adult decisions, and not have his or her parent(s) make decisions for them, they can seek an emancipation from his or her parents by court order.
If a minor child wishes to be emancipated from his or her parents, the child must be able to prove to the court that he or she can provide for themselves, as an adult is expected to do. The court must find that emancipating the child from his or her parents is in the child’s best interests, as well as find that the child’s parents or guardian do not object (or if they do object, the parent or legal guardian does not otherwise support the minor child financially), the child is at least 16 years old, the child is a resident of the State of Michigan, the child can manage his or her own financial affairs by a showing of proof of employment or other means of financial support, the child can manage his or her own social and personal affairs and provide housing for themselves, and understands their responsibilities to act as an adult.
Emancipation cases require a breadth of factual support to prevail in court. If you have questions regarding emancipating a minor from his or her parents, or guardian, or objecting to a minor seeking emancipation, at Schmeltzer & Bostic, we can assist you with navigating the procedural and factual requirements to an emancipation of a minor child action.