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How Emancipation Works in Florida

The issue of emancipation has become a hot topic for discussion recently. The Minnesota case of a mother who is suing her transgender daughter has been all over the news. The daughter has declared herself emancipated and the mother is asking the court to reinstate her parental rights. However, the court never severed her rights. This is due to the fact that under Minnesota law, emancipation is not a legal process. A minor child is only required to live outside the home and be making their own decisions in regards to financial and personal matters.


In Florida, there is a legal process for declaring oneself emancipated. The minor child must petition the court and must be able to show proof that they are self-supporting.

Here’s a rundown of the factors that must be met:

  • the child can financially support himself/herself and their child (if applicable)
  • if the child is not able to support themselves, they must describe and provide proof of how and who will provide that financial support
  • the child is not receiving public assistance
  • the reason the child requests emancipation
  • state why emancipation would be in the minor child’s best interest

The catch here is that this paperwork must be completed by the child’s parent or legal guardian. Depending on the situation, this is often not feasible. In that case, the court would have to appoint a guardian ad litem and then they would be required to complete the necessary paperwork on behalf of the minor and appear at all court proceedings as the representative for the minor.

The signature of both parents is required. If not, the non-petitioning parent must be served notice, and they will have 20 days to respond. Parents can fight the emancipation but must file the appropriate paperwork with the court.

A Motion for Hearing is filed and the court will schedule a hearing date to review the case. If the court is satisfied that the child is better off emancipated, they will approve the request. From that point on, the emancipated child is treated as a legal adult regarding all matters.

If you are considering emancipation for you or your minor child, please contact us to discuss your situation. We can advise you on how to proceed and provide legal counsel during all court proceedings to ensure your desired outcome.