Emancipation refers to a legal process of freeing a minor from parental control. The term may also refer to freeing the earnings/income of a child from the control of a parent. People under the age of eighteen are referred to as minors. Minors are under the control of their parents or legal guardians until they attain the age of majority . However, in special circumstances, a minor can be freed from control by their guardian before attaining majority. The circumstances in which a minor becomes emancipated are enlisting in the military and marriage. In order to obtain emancipation, the minor should file a petition with the family court in the applicable jurisdiction, formally requesting emancipation and citing reasons why it is in their best interest to be emancipated. Emancipation laws vary from state to state. Once emancipation is granted, the parent is no longer legally repsonsible for the acts of the child. Criteria for determining if emancipation is in the minor’s best interest vary among the states. Some of the criteria are the minor has financial independence, exhibits sufficient maturity, lives apart from parents, has decision making capacity or attends school or has already received diploma. State laws relating to emancipation are discussed in the links below.