There are quite a few steps to getting emancipated and they are as follows. Remember, only you can file for emancipation and you will need to give them important information about yourself.
1. Filling out the forms
You will need to fill out all the forms clearly either by hand or typed.
- Petition for Declaration of Emancipation of Minor, Order Prescribing Notice, Declaration of Emancipation, and Order Denying Petition (Form MC-300)
Be sure to include all the information that is being requested. Include these forms to your petition as well and remember to sign the petition and write the days date.
-Emancipation of Minor Income and Expense Declaration (Form MC-306);
-Notice of Hearing — Emancipation of Minor (Form MC-305); and
-Declaration of Emancipation of Minor After Hearing (Form MC-310).
Find out if your local courthouse has some other forms that you will need to fill. You can contact them by phone to ask the court clerk. The forms might also be available on the courthouse's website so remember to check online if possible.
There may be court fees but if you can't afford to pay them, you can request a fee waiver and still have your forms filed at the court.
2. Write a statement to the court.
This statement will need to outline:
-Why you wish to be emancipated
-How you live
-How you support yourself financially,
-If you have any children and how you support them,
-If you haven't seen your parents or guardian recently and if you haven't, how you have attempted to locate them.
-If you sont want your parents to know about your attempt to get emancipated, then you need to tell the courts exactly why and what all the reasons are for not notifying them. You can request permission not to tell your parents.
For an added information, you may attach letters written by your boss and/or landlord.
3. Have your forms reviewed
Find a family law facilitator at your courthouse or someone at the court's self-help center to review all your paperwork to make sure everything is in order. This step is important so that there are no unnecessary delays in your case.
4. File the petition
Once you've filled out all your forms make copies of everything, the petition, forms and statements. You will nee to ask the court clerk how many copies you'll be needing, don't forget to keep copies for yourself.
Take your forms to the courthouse and file all your paperwork, including the forms, statements and the petition with the court clerk's office. If you are a ward of the state, you will have to file your case in juvenile court but you can ask the court clerk how your case should be filed.
5. Get a hearing date (if needed)
If you need to have a court hearing in your county to procede with the emancipation, the do so. Some counties only insist on this if the parents contest the petition of if the judge isnt clear on whether or not you meet all the requirements.
If you have a hearing date, it will be on the Notice of Hearing — Emancipation of Minor (Form MC-305).
6. Give notice
This step is required ONLY if you have a hearing date.
If you get a hearing date, you will need to give notice to your parents or guardian of the time and date of your court hearing.This is an important step and if skipped, the judge might not give you emancipation. everyone that needs to be, must be notified.
To 'give notice' you will need to have a person other than yourself who is 18 years or older deliver a copy of the Notice of Hearing — Emancipation of Minor (Form MC-305), along with copes of your papers/forms to all the people the judge tells you to. This 'delivery person' then must fill out a Proof of Service (Form POS-040) and give it to you so that yo may file that with the courts as well.
7. Wait for the judge’s decision
Once your petition is filed, if you didn't get a court hearing date, then the judge will have 30 days to:
-Accept your petition;
-Reject your petition; or
-Schedule a hearing for your petition if you didn't get one already (Read step 6 if you get a hearing date).
If the judge makes an order (either accepting or rejecting your petition), the clerk will give you a copy of the judge’s order, stamped “Filed.”
If the judge accepts your petition without a hearing, you will get a Declaration of Emancipation Without Hearing which will mean you are now emancipated.
8. Before your court hearing (if you have one scheduled)
If you have been scheduled with a court hearing you will need to fill out a Declaration of Emancipation of Minor After Hearing (Form MC-310). With this form you only have to fill out the top portion and you must hand it into the court clerk before your court date.
This is the form the judge will sign at your court hearing if he or she grants you the emancipation.
9. Go to your court hearing (if you have one scheduled)
On the day of your court hearing bring with you an adult who is supportive of your decision to be emancipated. Be ready to tell the judge all the reasons why you feel you deserve to be emancipated. The judge will be asking you questions about how you plan to support yourself , your future education plans, as well as things about your home life etc. Often times the judge is able to come to a conclusion during the hearing and can make a final decision about the order, either granting the emancipation or denying it.
10. If you are emancipated
If the judge grants you emancipation, then you must gather you papers and file them with the court clerk. You must do this with or without a court hearing.
You will be issed copies of the Declaration of Emancipation and be sure that you get 'certified copies' that have been certified by the court. These are very important papers and will need to be used in normal situations where a parent's permission is needed such as when renting a home, applying for a job or changing schools. Don't forget to inform the DMV that you are emancipated by filling out Emancipated Minor’s Application to California Department of Motor Vehicles (Form MC-315). Take it to the DMV with a certified copy of your Declaration of Emancipation.
For more information on emancipation, contact the family law attorneys.