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Emancipation is not available in every state in the United States. Where it is available, emancipation is a legal process by which minors can attain legal adulthood before reaching the age at which they would normally be considered adults (this is called the “age of majority”). The rights granted to legally emancipated minors might include the ability to sign legally binding contracts, own property, and keep one’s own earnings. However, each state has different laws governing emancipation and some states simply have no law or legal process concerning emancipation. In states where minors wishing to become legally emancipated will have to break new legal ground.

This page is designed to give minors information on the laws and available legal processes regulating emancipation in their state. The information is based on available state legal statutes and in some cases also includes information obtained from various legal aid organizations in that state. Some states have different legal terms for emancipation and can also differ in their definition of the rights granted to an emancipated minor. (JLC)
Philadelphia, PA
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