Defining The Difference Between Emancipation And Divorcing Your Parents

Most minors hate their parents. It is a perfectly normal emotional response to growing up and wanting to get away from the rules and restrictions parents create for their children. However, there are some situations and circumstances that may cause a deep-seated hatred for one or both of your parents, and in these cases, you may want to rid yourself emotionally and legally of your parents. Divorcing them is one way, but emancipation is another. To understand which is which, they have been clearly defined here.

Emancipation (of a Minor)

The key phrase here is "of a minor". You have to be a few years' shy of the legal definition of adulthood, which is eighteen in the U.S. You must also prove that your parents were negligent or abusive in some way that makes it impossible for you to live with them and you seek the court's ruling to live on your own. It is a very difficult path to take, since a minor has to prove that he or she is responsible enough to find their own shelter, employment and food to care for themselves and not be a burden on the state.

Divorcing Your Parents

This differs from emancipation in that you are already an adult and you want to completely sever any and all relationship ties to your parents. In most cases, you would also file a restraining order against your parents so that they cannot have any contact with you in any way, shape or form. If you seek divorce from your parents, both your divorce attorney and the courts will want you to be sure of your decision, since it is a severe and serious request and it cannot be undone once it is granted.

The Reasons Are Similar, but the End Results Are Not

Both emancipation and divorce of your parents are the result of some trauma or abuse in your life by your parents. Although you can eventually try to repair your relationship with your parents as an emancipated minor, you cannot repair it if you divorce them. The one is as temporary as you want it to be while the other is quite permanent.

Different Lawyers, Too

Emancipating minors temporarily become wards of the court, family court, to be precise. A family court will appoint a guardian ad litem or family lawyer to the emancipating minor. When you are divorcing your parents, then you need a divorce lawyer. Even though these areas overlap in family law, they are still two distinct situations requiring different lawyers.