Give notice and go to your court date

After you file your Petition for Emancipation, the judge will either agree to (grant), deny your request, or set a court date. If you have a court date, you might need to officially let your parents, guardians, or other adults know (called giving notice) about the court date. Then, you will need to prepare for and go to your court date. 

How to give notice and prepare for your court date

  • Give notice of your court date, if needed

    If the judge orders it, you may need to give your parents and others a formal notice about the court date. To find out if notice is required, look at Page 2 of the Petition (form EM-100). Item 10 lists whether the judge requires anyone to get notice.

    To give notice, you must have someone 18 or older send or give a copy of your papers, including the Notice of Hearing — Emancipation of Minor (form EM-109) to the people the judge lists. 

    Then, the person who does this for you has to fill out and sign a Proof of Service (form POS-040). Once it's filled out, make a copy, then file the original Proof of Service with the clerk and ask the clerk to stamp your copy. Take your copy with you to your court date.

  • Go to your court date, if you have one

    If you have a court date, bring a Declaration of Emancipation of Minor After Hearing (form EM-130) with you. Just fill out the top part of the form with your name and the court information. The judge will sign this form at the end of your hearing.

    There's no one way courts do emancipation hearings. In general, you should be prepared to answer the judge's questions.  For example, they may ask:

    • Why being emancipated would be good for you
    • What your future plans are
    • How you plan to earn money
    • How you're doing in school
    • Why you left home

    It can help to arrange to have another responsible adult who supports your emancipation come with you.

    If this is your first time in court, learn more about what to expect in court, like how early to arrive and what to bring with you.

    Tips for your day in court

  • If the judge grants your request

    The judge will usually make a decision on the day of your hearing. If the judge grants your petition (makes an order saying you are emancipated), take your papers back to the court clerk’s office and file them. You will get signed copies of the Declaration of Emancipation. Make sure you get “certified copies.”  This means the clerk adds an official stamp to your Declaration that says the copy is true copy of the original. There is a $40 fee for each certified copy. If you have a fee waiver, you will not have to pay this fee.

    These are important papers.  You may need to show your boss, landlord, doctor, school, or anyone else who asks for your parents’ permission.

    If you want the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to know that you are emancipated, fill out Emancipated Minor’s Application to California Department of Motor Vehicles (form EM-140). Take it to the DMV with a certified copy of your Declaration of Emancipation.

  • If the judge denies your request

    If the judge denies your request, talk to your Self-Help Center or a lawyer about your options.

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