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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33716
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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Our 17-1/2 year old granddaughter has been living with us

Customer Question

Customer: ***** *****. Our 17-1/2 year old granddaughter has been living with us for 7 months. She turns 18 in February. She has a 15 month old baby. Her mother kicked her out, we took her in. She is wanting to apply for college but the college either requires she have parental signature on the application or she have legal papers stating she is emancipated. How can we get her emancipated in Colorado?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I am not sure what details you need. She is a single teen parent, living with us, but she has a job, we just provide a home for her and her baby. She basically has no contact with her parents any longer. It is my understanding there is a way to petition the court for "legal autonomy" but I have not found how to do this. Is there a form we can file, or how do we go about this?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Family Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Sure.
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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In order for a minor to become emancipated, they must have a completely independent source of income and housing from anyone else. So if she is living with you, then a judge wouldn't legally emancipate her because she is dependent on you for housing and likely other financial support. This typically only happens with "trust fund children" where they have a considerable amount of money in a trust set up for them so they can be completely independent of their parents.

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So emancipation is likely not going to be an option for her here. What would be a better option would be for you as grandparents to file a petition for formal legal guardianship over her so you would essentially step into the role as parents and could then sign anything her parents could as her legal guardians.

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The only problem with this, assuming that the parents wouldn't object, is that it could take a couple months to make its way through the court system so as to get it in front of a judge for a ruling. So she might have already turned 18 by the time this gets to court and it would be a moot point at that time and you would have already have spent any money on getting an attorney to help with filing a guardianship petition.

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thanks

Barrister