When a minor is emancipated, he becomes responsible for his own welfare, and his parents no longer have to provide him with food, clothing or an education. The minor has to petition the court to be emancipated, and age minimums for emancipation vary based on the state. Most states have a minimum emancipation age of 16, but some have a minimum as low as 14.
When a petition for emancipation is filed, the court considers the minor's best interests. Factors taken into account include the minor's maturity, his living arrangements and his ability to support himself financially.
Another form of child abandonment is when a parent leaves the child with another person and then fails to communicate and send child support money or participate in a plan to be reunited with his child. Certain states require neighbors or school officials to report cases of child abandonment.
While a parent is still required to support a child who runs away, certain actions by the child, such as joining the military or getting married, may automatically emancipate him.Learn more about Legal Ages