Emancipation of a Minor

These are the basic instructions on what you will need to file regarding emancipation of a minor. The required form for an emancipation can be found at the bottom of this instruction page.

1. A minor seeking emancipation must file a petition for emancipation in the county of residence. The minor must be at least age 16. On the petition, the minor must show the ability to manage his/her financial, personal, and social affairs.

2. The $187.00 filing fee is made payable to: Antrim County Clerk.

3. The following documents must be attached to the petition:

a) a copy of the minor’s birth certificate
b) an affidavit by one of the following professionals who has personal knowledge of the minor’s circumstances:

    • a physician or nurse
    • a member of the clergy
    • a law enforcement officer
    • a regulated child care provider
    • a psychologist or therapist
    • a social worker or social work technician
    • a school administrator, school counselor, or teacher

4. The court will assign a court employee to investigate the petition and file a report.

5. A hearing before the Judge is scheduled.

a) A copy of the petition and a summons to appear at the hearing is served on the minor’s parents.
b) A notice of the hearing is served on the person who provided the affidavit.
c) At the hearing, the minor has the burden of proving the following:

    • That he or she is 16 years of age or older
    • That he or she is a Michigan resident
    • That he or she has demonstrated the ability to manage his/her financial, personal, and social affairs (including proof of housing, employment, or other support)
    • That he or she understands the rights and responsibilities of an emancipated minor

d) The minor must further prove that the parent or guardian either does not object to the emancipation, or, even if objecting, does not support the minor.

If the minor proves all of these, and the court determines emancipation is in the minor’s best interest, the court must issue an emancipation order.

If the emancipation order is obtained fraudulently, the order is voidable but the minor is still responsible for any obligations made during the time the order was in effect.
Rights and Responsibilities of Emancipated Minors
Except for constitutional and statutory age requirements, and health and safety regulations based on age, emancipated minors have the following rights and responsibilities:
1. To enter into enforceable contracts, including apartment leases
2. To sue and be sued
3. To retain earnings
4. To establish a separate domicile
5. To act autonomously and as an adult in all business relationships including obtaining accounts for utilities, except for certain estate or property matters where there is a court determination that a conservator or Guardian ad Litem is required
6. To earn a living
7. To authorize his/her own preventive, medical, dental and mental health care without parental knowledge or liability
8. To apply for a driver’s license and other licenses, as eligible
9. To register for school
10. To marry
11. To apply for medical assistance under Medicaid
12. To apply for other welfare assistance
13. To make decisions and give authority in caring for his/her minor child
14. To make a will

If you have any questions about this information, you may contact us at:

Antrim County Probate/Family Court
P.O. Box 130
Bellaire, MI 49615

Telephone: (231) 533-6681
Fax: (231) 533-6600

E-mail: probatecourt@antrimcounty.org

Required Forms