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Ending Emancipation


    When Emancipation Can Be Ended

    A parent or emancipated minor can ask that an emancipation order be cancelled (or rescinded). A judge or referee will cancel an emancipation order if:

    • The minor has no way to support him or herself;

    • The minor and parents agree the order should be canceled; OR

    • The family relationship has resumed: The minor is living with his or her parents or guardian

    The minor has no way to support him or herself

    The emancipation order will be cancelled if the minor can no longer support him or herself. This can happen if the minor loses or quits a job and can’t afford to pay rent. It can also happen if the minor does not have enough money to pay bills or debts.

    The minor and parents agree the order should be canceled

    The judge or referee will cancel the emancipation order if the minor and parents agree it should be cancelled. This happens if at the hearing the minor and the minor’s parents say they want to cancel the order.

    Family relationship has resumed

    If the minor and parents have resumed the family relationship, the judge or referee will cancel the emancipation order. This can happen if the minor moves back in with the parents.

    Effects of Ending Emancipation

    Ending emancipation means the minor can no longer:

    • Live on his or her own

    • Register for school

    • Get married

    • Make a will

    • Authorize his or her own medical, dental, and mental health care

    • Enter contracts, including leases

    • Conduct business

    • Sue someone or be sued by someone

    • Apply for medical assistance, such as Medicaid

    • Apply for other welfare, such as general assistance or SNAP benefits

    • Make decisions for his or her own child

    The minor’s parents will once again have a duty to care for and support the minor. So will guardians or custodians who act like parents. They will have the right to make decisions for their minor children. These rights and duties continue until a child turns 18 years old.

    Continuing Obligations After Emancipation Ends

    The minor must honor all contracts made while emancipated, even if the emancipation order is cancelled. This means the minor must still pay rent if a lease was signed after the emancipation order. If the minor bought a car, the minor must still make the payments.

    An emancipated minor’s debt does not go away if the judge or referee cancels the emancipation order. The minor is still responsible for any continuing obligations.

    How to End An Emancipation

    To end an emancipation, the parent or the minor can file a Petition to Rescind Order of Emancipation. Download the blank form, and fill in the blanks. Look at the petition and order from the emancipation case for the file number. You will also need a summons for each other party in the case. For example, if you are an emancipated child, you need a summons for each of your parents.

    File the petition with the family division of the circuit court that issued the emancipation order. There is a $150 filing fee to file the petition. You can ask for a fee waiver if you can’t afford the filing fee. Read the article Fee Waivers in Court Cases to learn when and how to ask for this. You can use the Do-It-Yourself Fee Waiver to complete this form.

    Getting a Hearing Date

    The court clerk will give you a hearing date and time when you file your petition. Put that information on the summons. The court clerk will issue the summons by signing and dating it.

    Serving the Petition

    A copy of the petition and the summons must be served on the minor or the minor’s parents. A minor who wants to end an emancipation must serve the papers on his or her parents. A parent who wants to end an emancipation must serve the papers on the minor.

    Some courts will serve the papers for you. If so, you may have to pay the cost of serving. Ask the clerk’s office if they serve the petition and summons for you.

    Any adult or emancipated minor can serve the papers. A party is served by being personally given the petition or by getting it by first class mail. If it is mailed, it is a good idea to send it by certified mail and request a return receipt.

    Filing the Proof of Service

    Next, you must fill out a Proof of Service form. File the Proof of Service where you filed the Petition. Make a copy of each completed form for your files.

    Going to Court

    When people represent themselves in court, they are expected to follow the same rules lawyers do.

    Attend the hearing and be prepared to present your case to the judge or referee. Bring all your evidence to court with you. Be ready to talk about the things you wrote in your petition. The hearing will take place at the time and place on the summons.

    Dress neatly. Arrive 10 or 15 minutes before your hearing is scheduled. It’s important to show up on time. Let the court know you’re there by telling the clerk or officer sitting by the judge’s bench. Do not interrupt the current proceeding.

    Be prepared to spend most of the morning or afternoon in court. Bring any witnesses and your evidence with you. Remember to speak clearly, answer any questions the judge or referee asks, and do not interrupt the judge, referee, or anyone else.

    The judge or referee may hear your entire case at the first hearing. The judge or referee could also schedule another hearing date to finish your case.

    If emancipation is ended, the court must keep a copy of the order until the minor turns 25 years old.