Emancipation of minors is a legal mechanism by which children, before reaching the age of adulthood, are freed from control by their parents or guardians while at the same time freeing the parents or guardians from any and all responsibility toward the child.

Why apply to be emancipated?

Emancipation terminates the legal responsibilities of a child-parent relationship. Emancipation is generally sought to recognize the minor as an adult for the purpose of contracting for a residence, to sue or be sued, and for the minor to be recognized as an adult for the purpose of criminal violations. 

Facts About Emancipation

  • Applicant must be 16 years or older
  • The court in order to emancipate must find that the best interests of the minor will be served.  In making this decision the court will take into consideration:
  • Whether the parent of the minor consents
  • Whether the minor has been living away from the family home and is substantially able to be self-maintained and self-supported without parental guidance and supervision
  • Whether the minor can demonstrate sufficient maturity and knowledge to manage affairs without parental assistance
  • If emancipation is granted, the applicant will be instructed to obtain an Oregon driver’s license or an Oregon identification card through the Department of Transportation for notification of emancipation status
  • An emancipated minor shall be subject to the jurisdiction of Adult Court for all criminal offenses
  • Emancipation does not entitle a minor to purchase or possess alcohol or apply for a marriage license without parental consent.

Local expectations for those seeking emancipation

  • The minor must be able to support himself/herself or partial support must be provided by another responsible person.
  • The minor plans to complete an educational program.

Emancipation instructions

The minor applying for emancipation must complete the application and submit $265.00 in check or money order payable to the Trial Court Clerk. A minor can also file through an attorney. Attorney’s fees range from $250 to $300 or higher, plus filing fees for uncontested cases. Once the application is accepted, the court must conduct a preliminary hearing within 10 days. Final judgment must be completed within 60 days.

General Information
Phone Numbers
Fax: 5033977256
Emergencies: Dial 911
Historic Courthouse
230 Strand Street
St. Helens,