Your Child Is Threatening Emancipation: Should You Be Worried?

Is your teenage child threatening you with emancipation? Are you concerned that the court system will grant them their wish and worried because you don't feel that they can make it on their own? If so, you can put some of that worry aside because it's far more difficult to become emancipated that most teenagers realize. Read on to learn more.

You Must Agree To The Emancipation

In Ontario and some other parts of Canada, emancipation isn't even an option for your child. The laws in these locations simply don't allow for a child to request the termination of their parents' guardianship.  

In parts of Canada that do allow minors to be emancipated, your child will need your consent unless there is clear evidence that you have neglected or abused them. The courts do not just grant emancipation to a child because of a disagreement or a bout of upset; you must either be on board with the release of your parental responsibilities, or your child must have clear, concise proof that being held under your guardianship is not in their best interest.

Your child may be under the false assumption that they can obtain legal emancipation by getting married. While this is true, a teenager under the age of 18 cannot get married without the consent of both of their parents.  

The Emancipation Process Isn't Easy

If your child feels as though they have been neglected or abused under your care, they can pursue emancipation on their own; however, the process is long and difficult. It begins with your child filing a declaration of emancipation with a Canadian superior court. This declaration must be accompanied by evidence that you have either deserted your child or that you have failed to provide them with a necessary level of care and support. Such evidence might include:

  • Proof of physical abuse.
  • Prove that you have caused your child mental anguish.
  • Proof that you have confiscated money earned by your child and used it for your own personal gain.
  • Proof that you have used your child's name to open credit card or take out loans, thus interfering with your child's future financial well-being.
  • Proof that you have kicked your child out of the house and no longer want them there.
  • Proof that your home is unfit or unsafe to live in.
  • Proof of homelessness or your inability to provide a home of any kind.

Both abuse and neglect are serious accusations, and should you child file for emancipation under these conditions, it is recommended that you obtain lawyers to protect your rights and support your side of the case. 

Your Child Has To Have Income

In order for a court to grant them emancipation, your child must also provide proof that they are capable of financial independence. The ability of your teenager to support themselves is determined by whether or not their income is larger than their expenses. 

Your child will need to provide a list of their expenses, accounting for everything they'll need to achieve a comfortable standard of living. They must also provide pay stubs to show that they have a steady job that meets the financial demands of their expenses.

Your Child May Change Their Mind

Many a rowdy teenager has thought about emancipation as a means to expedite their route to adulthood and obtain all of the rights and privileges of a person above the age of minority. This assumption is incorrect.

As your child pursues emancipation, they will likely learn some things that will quickly sway their decision in the other direction. For example, an emancipated minor must still attend school on a regular basis. Also, they still cannot get married without your permission until they reach adulthood, and they cannot drink or vote until they reach the age at which federal laws permit them to do so. 

If your child is threatening you with emancipation, don't worry. The court system will not take your child's request to dissolve your parental rights lightly. Hire a lawyer to protect yourself from the possibility of false accusations made by your determined teen, and rest assured that your child won't be leaving the nest anytime soon unless you agree to the situation and they can demonstrate to the court that they are willing and able to live independently.