Emancipation of a Minor - Self Help
Emancipation of a Minor
Emancipation is the process by which a minor between the ages of 16 and 18 can be freed from his or her parents' legal control and supervision. A minor seeking emancipation must file a petition for emancipation in the family division of circuit court in the county where the minor resides.
Statutes and Court Rules
Statutes and court rules associated with emancipation proceedings are: MCL 722.1 through 722.6 and MCR 3.613.
Using Court Forms
Court forms are available for use in proceedings for emancipation. These forms follow the procedures stated in the Michigan Compiled Laws and Michigan Court Rules and can be used without the assistance of an attorney. Instructions for the completing the forms are not available.
How to Begin
To begin a proceeding for emancipation, you (the petitioner) must be at least 16 years of age. Complete the Petition for Emancipation, form PC 100, and file it with the circuit court in the county where you live. To rescind (cancel) an order of emancipation, either the minor or a parent of the emancipated minor can complete and file the Petition to Rescind Order of Emancipation, form PC 102. The cost of filing either petition is $150.00.
Petition for Emancipation
You are required to read the laws about emancipation in the Status of Minors and Child Support Act, MCL 722.1 through 722.6 before you sign the petition part of the form. You must also attach a copy of your birth certificate to the petition.
The affidavit part of the form must be completed by one of the following individuals who has personal knowledge of your circumstances and believes that under those circumstances emancipation is in your best interests: a physician, nurse, member of the clergy, psychologist, family therapist, certified social worker, social worker, social work technician, school administrator, school counselor, teacher, law enforcement officer, or regulated child care provider.
Petition to Cancel Emancipation
A petition to cancel an emancipation must be filed with the circuit court that issued the order. If the order of emancipation was entered by a probate court (before 1998), the parent or minor must file the petition with the circuit court in the county of the probate court that entered the order.
Issuing a Summons
The court must issue a summons commanding the minor and the parent(s) or guardian of the minor to appear at a hearing on a petition. The court will schedule the time and place for the hearing when you file the petition and will "issue" the summons by dating and signing it.
Serving the Petition and Summons
A copy of the petition and a summons to appear at the hearing must be served by personal delivery of the court papers to the minor and the minor's parents or guardian. A notice of hearing must also be sent to the individual who completed the affidavit part of the Petition for Emancipation, form PC 100, unless that person waived notice of the hearing by stating that in the affidavit; do not use the Summons, form PC 79, because it is not appropriate for this person. You can use the Notice of Hearing, form PC 562, instead.
Some courts may serve the court papers for you. If a court does not serve the court papers, you will need to do it yourself. See general information about service.
What the Court May do Before the Hearing
After a petition is filed, the court may do one or more of the following:
- assign an employee of the court to investigate the allegations of the petition and to file a report containing the results of the investigation with the court;
- appoint legal counsel for the minor;
- appoint legal counsel for the minor's parents or guardian if they are indigent and if they oppose the petition;
- dismiss the petition if the minor's custodial parent does not consent and is providing support.
Getting and Serving the Order
You must attend the hearing on the day and at the time and place stated in the summons. You may be required to testify at the hearing. After the hearing, the court will prepare the order. See general information about hearings. Usually the court files and serves the order.