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Matters that are handled in family law courts can be confusing and emotional, especially when those matters involve minors. At the law offices of Groth & Associates, our family law attorneys handle a variety of sensitive family law matters, including those involving the emancipation of a minor and the emancipation from support obligations. If you have questions about emancipation, our Toledo emancipation attorneys can provide you with detailed answers and guidance. Call our law firm today to learn more about how we can serve you.

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Emancipation typically means to “set free,” or to “liberate.” In the context of the emancipation of a minor in a family law case, however, emancipation refers to the legal mechanism by which a child is released from the guardianship of their parents before reaching the legal age of majority. (The legal age of majority is the age at which a child is no longer recognized as such and instead is considered to be an adult. In Ohio, the age of majority is 18 years.)

Once a child is emancipated, they no longer need the permission of their parents or guardians to make certain decisions, such as the decision to get married or to consent to or refuse certain medical care. Examples of things that a minor–someone who is under the age of 18–can do once emancipated include:

  • Sign contracts;
  • Enter into rental/lease agreements;
  • File a lawsuit (or have a lawsuit filed against them);
  • Get married;
  • Work and keep income;
  • Make decisions about healthcare, such as whether or not to use birth control.





Most parents will be responsible for legal decision-making pertaining to their child until their child’s 18th birthday. However, there are some cases in which a parent or a minor may wish for the minor to be emancipated. In Ohio, there is no statutory basis for emancipation; instead, the courts consider emancipation on a case-by-case basis. With that in mind, a minor may gain emancipation from the courts by:

  • Getting married. While emancipation can provide means of getting married without a parent’s consent, marriage in itself can also be a means to emancipation. Note that in Ohio, emancipation as a result of marriage only applies to females, as males must be 18 in order to legally marry in the state, regardless of parental permission.
  • Joining the military. Another way to get emancipation is to join the military. If you join the military in Ohio, you will automatically be considered to be an emancipated minor. Note, however, that minors can’t join the military until age 17 anyway, so the emancipation period is relatively short.
  • Decision by the court. Finally, there may be cases in which the court grants emancipation to a minor. Again, this is on a case-by-case basis, as there is no statutory rule related to a minor’s ability to petition the court for emancipation. Usually, this is only in extreme circumstances, where parental support is not provided for whatever reason. Indeed, in order for a court to grant emancipation to a minor, there must be some act or omission on the part of the parents. Further, in order for a court to grant a minor emancipation, the minor will typically need to be of a proper age (i.e. 16 or 17) and may need to be living separately and independently, as well as be self-supporting.

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Note that in Ohio, the term “emancipation” may also be used in relation to removing–i.e. emancipating–a child from an ongoing support order if a parent has been ordered by the court to pay child custody. The emancipation of a support order is not synonymous with the emancipation of the minor (e.g. providing the minor with the same rights as those who are 18 years of age); instead, it is merely a way of terminating a support order. Causes for emancipation from an ongoing support order include the death of a child, the death of the obliger, the adoption of a child on the order, a change in the child’s custody, the marriage of the child (i.e. the child becomes emancipated), the child enters the military (becomes emancipated), the child reaches the age of majority, the child is deported, or the parties who were originally involved in the support order (the child’s parents) marry or remarry. If you want to terminate a support order on one of the above grounds, call our lawyers directly.


If you have questions about the emancipation process, it’s best to work with an experienced attorney. Our lawyers can represent you in your emancipation of a minor case or can answer your questions and represent you in regards to an emancipation of a support order case. When you choose to work with the Toledo emancipation lawyers at the office of Groth & Associates, you can count on:

  • Decades of experience. Attorney Stevin J. Groth received his J.D. in 1994 and established Groth & Associates in 2001. In partnership with eight other highly-skilled attorneys, the law firm has decades’ worth of combined legal experience.
  • Personalized attention. There is nothing worse than hiring an attorney who hands your case off to someone else in the office, or who tries to take a general approach to resolve your legal matter. When you work with our team, you’ll get one-on-one, personalized attention that’s centered on your best interests.
  • Results. We are a results-driven law firm with the case history and track record to prove it. We are proud of the outcomes we have achieved for our clients, both in and out of the courtroom.


To learn more about our family lawyers and to ask any question you have about emancipation, call our Toledo emancipation lawyers directly today. You can reach us online or by phone at your convenience.

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