Virginia Emancipation of Minor Law


Minors – Emancipation of Minor – Virginia

§16.1-331: Petition for emancipation.

Any minor who has reached his sixteenth birthday and is residing in this Commonwealth, or any parent or guardian of such minor, may petition the juvenile and domestic relations district court for the county or city in which either the minor or his parents or guardian resides for a determination that the minor named in the petition be emancipated. The petition shall contain, in addition to the information required by § 16.1-262, the gender of the minor and, if the petitioner is not the minor, the name of the petitioner and the relationship of the petitioner to the minor.

§16.1-332: Orders of court; investigation, report and appointment of counsel.

If deemed appropriate the court may (i) require the local department of social services or any other agency or person to investigate the allegations in the petition and file a report of that investigation with the court, (ii) appoint counsel for the minor’s parents or guardian, or (iii) make any other orders regarding the matter which the court deems appropriate. In any case pursuant to this article the court shall appoint counsel for the minor to serve as guardian ad litem.

§16.1-333: Findings necessary to order that minor is emancipated.

The court may enter an order declaring the minor emancipated if, after a hearing, it is found that: (i) the minor has entered into a valid marriage, whether or not that marriage has been terminated by dissolution; or (ii) the minor is on active duty with any of the armed forces of the United States of America; or (iii) the minor willingly lives separate and apart from his parents or guardian, with the consent or acquiescence of the parents or guardian, and that the minor is or is capable of supporting himself and competently managing his own financial affairs.

§16.1-334: Effects of order.

An order that a minor is emancipated shall have the following effects:

1. The minor may consent to medical, dental, or psychiatric care, without parental consent, knowledge, or liability;
2. The minor may enter into a binding contract or execute a will;
3. The minor may sue and be sued in his own name;
4. The minor shall be entitled to his own earnings and shall be free of control by his parents or guardian;
5. The minor may establish his own residence;
6. The minor may buy and sell real property;
7. The minor may not thereafter be the subject of a petition under this chapter as abused, neglected, abandoned, in need of services, in need of supervision, or in violation of a juvenile curfew ordinance enacted by a local governing body;
8. The minor may enroll in any school or college, without parental consent;
9. The minor may secure a driver’s license under § 46.2-334 or § 46.2-335 without parental consent;
10. The parents of the minor shall no longer be the guardians of the minor;
11. The parents of a minor shall be relieved of any obligations respecting his school attendance under Article 1 (§ 22.1-254 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1;
12. The parents shall be relieved of all obligation to support the minor;
13. The minor shall be emancipated for the purposes of parental liability for his acts;
14. The minor may execute releases in his own name;
15. The minor may not have a guardian ad litem appointed for him pursuant to any statute solely because he is under age eighteen; and
16. The minor may marry without parental, judicial, or other consent.

The acts done when such order is or is purported to be in effect shall be valid notwithstanding any subsequent action terminating such order or a judicial determination that the order was void ab initio.