Issues for Parents Seeking Emancipation of a Child

Issues for Parents Seeking Emancipation

This is a "gray" area of the law in Maryland.  Unlike many areas of the law, there are no clear rules that say who may petition the court, what types of relief (solutions) you can ask for, and what procedures need to be followed. The “law” on emancipation in Maryland is not clear-cut. There is no written statute or court rule that sets out a procedure for emancipation. The lack of a special procedure means that judges often must rely upon something called “common law”. Common law is the compiled history of what other judges in the past have said and what the common “practice” has been.

Practically speaking, this means that there is no routine self-help court form that can be filed by someone representing him/herself. The bottom line is that there is no easy answer to the question of what the law says about emancipation.  It depends on:

•    Who you are (parent or child) and
•    Your goals – the situation you are trying to address.

For more information about emancipation, see this related article:  Emancipation of a Minor

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