If a person is wondering ‘how to get emancipated in Australia’ there are high chances that their relationship with their parents has become strained. Emancipation is essentially the legal process to divorce your parents.
The concept of divorcing your parents might be surprising to some. However, it happens quite often when children reach a point where the disputes cannot be resolved with their family anymore.
If you or anyone you know is wondering how to get emancipated in Australia, read the article below to understand all important information related to child emancipation in Australia. Primarily, the answer to the question of how to get emancipated in Australia is that an application will need to be made to the Children’s Court.
If the application of the child is successful, the parents will no longer have any authority or control over the child, and the child will be legally recognised as an adult.
How To Get Emancipated In Australia: Why This Is Considered
If there is evidence of harm to the child, and if the child seeks a protection or safety order, he or she may consider divorcing their parents. Given below are reasons why some children seek to get emancipated: –
- physical injury;
- if the child has been abandoned;
- sexual abuse;
- emotional or physical abuse;
- neglect; or
- death or incapacity of parents.
Notably, irreconcilable differences is also a common reason why a child may wonder how to get emancipated in Australia.
Irreconcilable differences refers to a point where the child cannot get along with his/her parents anymore, and all conflicts or disputes have reached a point where they cannot be resolved. Applications for child emancipation on the basis of irreconcilable differences can be made even in the absence of harm.
However, if Courts are approached for this reason, firstly, evidence must be provided showing that all involved parties have tried to resolve differences through mediation or counselling services. If mediation and counselling attempts have failed, a Court hearing date will be provided to the parties.
Once a court order is made, if the application is heard and approved, the parents will no longer have any authority over the child. In this case, the state becomes the guardian of the child. Notably, such court orders are not commonly made. Great emphasis is given in making the families resolve their disputes and conflicts.
Most importantly, the Court will make orders which will ensure the safety and protection of the child.
What Could The Outcome Of Court Applications Be?
Now you know that the answer to how to get emancipated in Australia is by making an application to the Children Courts. Notably, the process of emancipation is relevant only to children who are under 18 years of age. For children who are over 18, there is no “legal” process and they simply become estranged from their parents.
As mentioned above, the Courts place great emphasis on resolving the differences between the child and family. It aims to maintain the parent-child relationship. Given below are the various types of orders which the court can make.
In cases where the Court believes that the differences can be resolved, following orders could be made:
- The child will continue living with his/her family because it is safe to do so, and the State will help the family in resolving issues wherever required.
- The child will continue living with his/her family provided that an undertaking or a formal pledge is given.
- The child will not live with the family as it is unsafe for the child. The child will be removed from the family for a temporary period – of up to 12 months. Once issues have been resolved, the family will be reunited.
In cases where the Court believes that the differences cannot be resolved, following safety and protection orders could be made:
- Because of irreconcilable differences and because issues cannot be resolved, a carer will need appointed for the child who can be a member of the family. This carer will have parental responsibility of the child for a period of 2 years.
- A long-term carer will be appointed for the child. This carer will have parental responsibility until the child turns 18 years old.
- A permanent carer will be appointed for the child. This carer will have sole parental responsibility over the child.
For Children Over 18 Years Of Age
As briefly mentioned above, the topic of how to get emancipated in Australia is only relevant to children who are under 18 years. The legal process of emancipation is related to children who are under 18 who wish to divorce their parents.
For children who are over 18, since they are already legally recognised as adults, there is no process of applying to the Children’s Courts. However emotional estrangement may occur wherein the adult child loses emotional connect with his/her parents.
Often, this leads to disputes in the future when the adult child has a child of his/her own. In such cases, the parents of the adult child wish to connect with their grandchild. However, because of the breakdown of the relationship between the adult child and his/her parents, the adult child may prevent his/her parents from maintaining a relationship with the grandchild.
In this case, from a legal standpoint, the grandparents can apply for a parenting order. The court will the consider if it is in the best interests of the child (i.e. the grandchild) to have a a relationship with the grandparents (the estranged parents of the adult child).
How To Get Emancipated In Australia: Obtain Legal Advice
This article explored the question of how to get emancipated in Australia and detailed the legal processes involved in doing so. However, while making applications, it is required that you obtain legal guidance from leading family lawyers.
The family lawyers at JB Solicitors have experience in handling legal matters related to emancipation and disputes within the family. We have award-winning mediators in our team who will provide market-leading advice to help you with your case.
Contact JB Solicitors today.