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Emancipation: How to File Your Case

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1. Who can petition for the Emancipation of a minor?

The parents or the minor may file a petition for emancipation. A petition is a legal document that asks the court to grant the request. The minor does not need consent from a parent or guardian to file a petition. Both the parent and minor may also file a joint petition for emancipation. The law is at Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 3991.

2. Where should the petition be filed?

The petition must be filed in the parish where the minor or the minor’s parents are domiciled (permanent home). The law is at Louisana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 3993.

3. What information needs to be in the petition?

The petition must include:

(1) The name, domicile, age, and, if known, the current address of the minor.

(2) The names and current addresses of the parents and any tutors of the minor, if known.

(3) The reasons why good cause exists for emancipation.

(4) If limited judicial emancipation is requested, which rights of adulthood are sought to be given to the minor.

(5) A descriptive list of the property of the minor, including the location of such property, if known.

The law is at Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 3992.

4. What happens at the court hearing?

The court hearing for emancipation is a summary proceeding. A summary proceeding is a short one-time hearing. The minor must be present at the hearing, unless there is good cause for the minor’s absence. The minor may be called to testify. If all of the parties agree, judicial emancipation can be granted without a court hearing. The law is at Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 3994.

5. Can the court's judgment be appealed?

Yes, the court's judgment can be appealed. However, the appeal process does not stop the granting, modification, or termination of the emancipation. If the minor is granted emancipation at the original court hearing and it is subsequently reversed on appeal, the minor’s actions while emancipated are not invalidated. The law is at Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 3996.

6. Can emancipation be modified or terminated?

Yes, the court may modify or terminate a minor’s emancipation if there is good cause. The law is at Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 3997.

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The Legal Education and Assistance Program (LEAP) is a project sponsored by the Louisiana State Bar Association, with the support of the Louisiana Library Association, the Law Library of Louisiana, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, and Acadiana Legal Services. LEAP aims to provide support and assistance to public librarians throughout the state by providing them with the tools to help their patrons with their legal questions. LEAP understands that librarians are prohibited from providing legal advice, but instead helps them provide legal information, including referrals to attorneys.