Q: I am a 17-year-old living in California; is there a loophole to becoming an adult early? [details]
I am graduating high school in January 2011 however, will not be turning 18 until August 2011. Is there a loophole in the age of majority law that allows me to visit a friend for a week (without parental consent) without the friend getting in trouble for "harboring a runaway"? The friend is 2000 miles away in Illinois.
Yes, it is called being an emancipated minor. You can petition the court to allow you to become an emancipated minor which means that you will have to be self supporting.
If that is something you want to do, you should ask the clerk of the court if they have a self-help packet for how to file. If they do not, then you can either seek out a paralegal to help you, or hire a lawyer.
The basic process is to file a petition, serve your parents, and have a hearing to tell a judge why you should be emancipated and how you will be self supporting.
A: Emancipation is not a loop hole, but a very serious step. You will not be able to reside with your parents and they will have no duty to support you. I am guessing that you want to visit a friend of the opposite sex and your parents do not approve. This step would more than likley put an enormous strain on your relationship with your parents. Parents are parents forever. You seriously need to consider whether a one-week visit is worth it. Hopefully this friend is someone you have known for a substantial time and not someone you just met on the internet. Be careful.
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