A question I do get asked a reasonable amount of time, is can children be emancipated in Massachusetts?  What emancipation means is that the parents right to control his or her minor child or participate in that decision making and that the parents no longer have the right to determine where the child lives or goes to school or how to spend that child’s money.


           The parents would be relieved of certain responsibilities. Some of those might be not paying child support or responsible for the harm that the personal injuries that the child causes to another person, and no longer for being sued.  However, in Massachusetts there is NO formal procedure for a child to become emancipated from his/her parents. 


           Most judges won’t grant a child an emancipated status.  A child may still file for emancipation in Probate and Family Court despite the lack of a formal procedure, but there seems to be extremely rare circumstances where a judge has to be very highly convinced that the emancipation is in the best interest of the minor and that the parents are not using it to get out of paying child support.  A judge may grant an emancipation, but it is very rare and there is no formal process for it.  They still might have other options even if they can’t be emancipated and to live elsewhere and to have independent rights.


           They don’t have to be emancipated in order to receive welfare from the state or even to consent to certain medical procedures or an abortion there are other procedures for that.