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In the State of Georgia, a young person can be emancipated in two ways:
1) By operation of law
--After a legal marriage,
--Upon joining the United States military;
--Upon reaching the age of 18 years; or
2) By filing a petition in the juvenile court in the county where the minor resides and securing a Declaration of Emancipation.
If a minor wants to get a court order declaring emancipation, it is best to speak with an attorney who can help evaluate the situation, prepare the necessary petition and other necessary paperwork, and represent the minor in a court hearing.
In order to request a Declaration of Emancipation, the minor would have to file a petition in the Juvenile Court in the County where the minor resides and request a Declaration of Emancipation signed by a judge. The minor must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that emancipation is in his or her best interests.
The judge will consider evidence and factors based on "the best interest of the child," and will follow the procedures set forth in O.C.G.A. § 15-11-205. The judge can only grant emancipation for certain specific reasons, also set forth in O.C.G.A. § 15-11-205:
-- Emancipation is in the best interests of the minor; and
-- The parent(s) or guardian(s) do not object to emancipation (or emancipation is in the best interests of the minor despite the parent(s) objection; and
-- The minor is a resident of Georgia; and
-- The minor has demonstrated the ability to manage his or her financial affairs, including proof of employment or other means of support (not including income from public assistance programs); and
-- The minor understands his or her rights and responsibilities as an emancipated minor; and
--The minor has carried his or her burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that emancipation should be ordered.
Click here to view the Georgia Emancipation Packet
Click here to read the legal statutes on Emancipation
Insofar as a minor who moves in with an adult without parental consent, that person can be charged with harboring a minor. Under certain circumstances, the adult may also be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If they move to another state, they can be charged with transporting a minor across state lines, which is a felony.
The minor may consider contacting Georgia's Youth Safe Harbor organization for more information. (Click here)
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