Emancipation Petition

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RESIDENCE: You must be a resident of the State of Vermont for at least three months in order to
petition for emancipation.
WHERE TO FILE: The petition is filed in the Probate Court in the county or probate district where you
reside at the time you file. The address of the Probate Court is in the telephone book under “Vermont,
State of, Courts.”
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PARENTS OR CUSTODIANS: The law requires that you list the name
and address of your parents if known. If the address of your parent(s) is unknown, please attach a
separate sheet of paper and explain all the steps you have taken to try to locate a good address. The law
requires that notice of the hearing on the emancipation be given to your parents and to any other person or
agency who has custody or guardianship of your person. If a petition is pending concerning your
custody, such as a petition for delinquency, unmanageability, or neglect in any court, you must list the
name of the court and the kind of petition which has been filed.
REQUIREMENTS FOR EMANCIPATION: Before the court can make an order or emancipation it must
determine that (a) you are at least 16 years old; (b) that you have lived separate from your parents,
custodian, or legal guardian for three months or longer; (c) that you are managing your own financial
affairs; (d) that you have demonstrated the ability to be self-sufficient in your financial affairs including
proof of employment or other support (“Other support” does not include general assistance, ANFC
benefits, or relying upon the financial resources of a person who is receiving such assistance or aid; (e)
that you either hold a high school diploma or that you are earning a passing grade in an education
program approved by the court and directed toward the earning of a high school diploma or it equivalent;
(f) that you are not under legal guardianship or in the custody or guardianship of the Commissioner of
Social Rehabilitation Services or the Commissioner of Corrections; (g) that your emancipation is in your
best interest considering such factors as whether you will be able to assume adult responsibilities, your
adjustment to being on your own, the opinion of your parents, custodian or guardian, and whether the
emancipation will create a risk of harm to you. You may address these factors in your petition and at the
hearing. The criteria for becoming an emancipated minor are located in 12 V.S.A. § 7151(b).
BURDEN OR PROOF: The burden is upon you to prove that you are eligible for an Order of
Emancipation. If you fail to provide adequate evidence by the conclusion of the hearing (testimony or
documentary evidence), the court must deny your petition.
Added June 27, 1996, eff. July 1, 1996; amended Jan. 21, 1997, eff. March 1, 1997


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