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Legal Information: North Carolina

Child Support

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Updated: 
February 6, 2020

What is emancipation?

Emancipation is basically a way for a minor (under age 18) to become an adult in the eyes of the law.  Once a person becomes emancipated, his/her parents are no longer responsible for him/her and the emancipated minor can file court cases, enter into contracts, or legally do anything that an adult can do. 

A minor child automatically becomes emancipated (without going to court) if s/he gets married.1  To become emancipated by a court (without getting married), the child has to be 16 or older to ask the court for emancipation.2  The child must prove that emancipation is in his/her best interests.  The judge would hold a hearing, consider many factors (which can be found here on our NC Statutes page), and decide whether or not to grant the emancipation.3

1 NCGS § 7B-3509
2 NCGS § 7B-3500
3 NCGS § 7B-3503; see also § 7B-3504