How Can a Child Divorce His Parents?


Quick Answer

Legally, a child does not have the right to divorce parents and terminate parental rights, according to The New York Times. In the Gregory K case, a child sued his mother for a divorce, which an appeals court ultimately upheld only because an adult had filed on the child's behalf.

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Full Answer

Minors can seek legal separation from parents by filing a petition of emancipation with the court. According to Cornell University Law School, all states have emancipation laws or statutes regarding the emancipation of minors. While these laws give children the right to seek emancipation, an adult must file the petition on behalf of the minor in most states. The two basic types of emancipation are implied and express emancipation. Factors that determine implied emancipation are parental abandonment or non-support. When parents agree with a child's request for independence, it is considered express emancipation.

Nolo explains that emancipation allows children to engage in determining their own legal, educational and health decisions similar to adults. However, courts may put restrictions on how much freedom to extend. For instance, the emancipated minor may not be able to quit school, legally drink alcohol, drive or get married without parental consent.

Fox News reports that several famous child stars have successfully petitioned for emancipation. Being a celebrity, however, is no guarantee for a court to grant emancipation.

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