How to Become Emancipated in the State of New Jersey

by John Hewitt
When there's no other option, sometimes a teenager has to strike out on their own.

When there's no other option, sometimes a teenager has to strike out on their own.

New Jersey has no particular law regulating emancipation, but it's available to teenagers above the age of 16 that live apart from their parents and are capable of supporting themselves. Emancipation provides the minor with all legal rights of adulthood aside from restrictions regarding age (like those regulating alcohol consumption, truancy and firearm ownership). In most cases, emancipation is only granted in cases of significant abuse and a deterioration in the relationship between the parents and the minor.

Secure legal employment or some other means of self-support before going through the emancipation procedure. A successful filing for emancipation will release parents from all financial obligations to support the minor. This includes obligations for medical care, schooling and other forms of financial support. A successful filing means anything that would require the parent's signature or approval, such as medical care, no longer requires it.

Attend a juvenile court in New Jersey and inform an officer of your intention to file for emancipation. If you want to be emancipated in New Jersey, you will also need to be a resident of the state. You may need to provide legal identification (like a driver's license, passport or learner's permit) along with proof of address (such as an envelope addressed to you).

Follow up on all interviews and evaluations that might be requested by the state. You may need to submit to psychological checkups, an evaluation of your school transcript, and verification of your employment. It will be more challenging to gain approval for emancipation if you have trouble supporting yourself.

File for emancipation with the juvenile court and await the judge's decision. If the judge decides in your favor, you will be emancipated, and will no longer be obligated to submit to the will of your parents.


  • Emancipation is a serious decision to make. Consult carefully with trusted advisers before going through with the process.

About the Author

John Hewitt is a 22-year-old freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Bright Hub, a new media company delivering comprehensive content concerning education, technology and interactive entertainment to a savvy audience. He also takes on freelance assignments for web-based clients. Before that, he wrote for Exodus Web, creating blog content on demand for a diverse client base on topics ranging from sports to crochet. He worked as a staff writer and columnist for Student Life, the student newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis, during which the paper was awarded the prestigious Pacemaker award from the National Scholastic Press Association. I have thousands of additional published clips on many different topics. If you would like to see more, please ask.{{}}

Photo Credits

  • serious teenager image by Kelly Kane from