Nevada Laws on "Emancipation of a Minor"

Emancipation is a court decree that legally makes a 16 or 17-year-old minor an adult in Nevada.1 In order to become emancipated, the minor must be married or living apart from his or her parents or legal guardian.2. The minor must be independent and able to support him- or herself.3

Upon emancipation, a person becomes an adult for most purposes. An emancipated minor can enter into contracts, buy and sell property, and make his or her own medical decisions.4 But an emancipated minor may still not drink alcohol or gamble until the minor turns 21.5

To help you better understand emancipation of a minor in Nevada, our Las Vegas family law attorneys discuss, below:

You may also wish to review our articles on Nevada's Minimum Age Marriage Laws and Battery Domestic Violence in Nevada

Emancipation 202

1. Who can become emancipated in Nevada?

In Nevada, a minor may petition the court for a decree of emancipation if he or she is:

  • At least 16 years of age;
  • Either married or living apart from his or her parents or legal guardian; and
  • A resident of the county in which he or she is petitioning.6

2. How does a child become emancipated in Nevada?

The first step if for the minor to file a petition for emancipation in juvenile court. The proper court is the one in the county where the minor resides.7sup>

The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether to grant the petition.

3. Do I have to notify my parents that I am seeking emancipation?

A minor seeking emancipation must serve notice to the following people:

  1. The minor's parents or legal guardians (or nearest known relative living in Nevada);
  2. The minor's probation or parole officer, if any; and
  3. The district attorney of the county where the minor has filed the emancipation petition.8

4. How much does emancipation cost in Clark County?

The fee to file emancipation papers in Clark County is $270. Minors who cannot afford the fee may be able to obtain a fee waiver.

But financial independence is one of the requirements for emancipation (as discussed below). Minors who cannot afford the filing fee may have trouble convincing the court they are financially self-sufficient.

Attorney fees are additional, usually at an hourly rate. Your precise fee will vary depending on how complicated your situation is.

5. What information must the petition for emancipation contain?

An emancipation petition must be in writing. It must include very specific financial and personal information about the minor, including:

  • The minor's name, age, and address; and
  • The names and addresses of the minor's parents or legal guardians.

If no parent or guardian can be found, the petition must include the name and address of the nearest known relative in the state of Nevada.

The petition must also state:

  • Facts relating to the minor's education and employment;
  • How long the minor has lived apart from the parents or guardian;
  • That the minor lives apart from such parents or guardian with the parent(s)' or guardian(s)' consent;
  • That the minor manages his/her own finances;
  • That the minor's income is not derived from any criminal activity; and
  • That the minor is attending school or is legally not required to.9
African American teenager with open book in front of a library bookshelf

6. How does a court decide whether to grant emancipation?

Factors the court will consider when deciding whether to grant emancipation include:

  • Whether the parent(s) or guardian(s) consent to the emancipation;
  • Whether the minor will be able to provide for him/herself financially;
  • Whether the minor is mature and knowledgeable enough to manage his/her own affairs without parental assistance; and
  • Whether emancipation is in the best interest of the minor (NRS 125C.0035).10

7. What rights do emancipated minors have in Nevada?

After a decree of emancipation, the minor is for most intents and purposes an adult. He or she can legally:

  • Incur debts and contractual obligations;
  • Litigate or settle any legal disputes;
  • Buy or sell property;
  • Consent to medical, dental, or psychiatric care without parental consent or knowledge;
  • Enroll in school or college; and
  • Live where he or she wants.11

But notwithstanding emancipation, an emancipated minor may not drink alcohol or gamble until he or she turns 21 years of age.12

The minor must also be tried for any crime in juvenile court unless certified for trial as an adult.

8. Is emancipation permanent in Nevada?

Any person or public agency may file a petition to void a decree of emancipation. Grounds for voiding a degree of emancipation are:

  • The minor becomes indigent and does not have sufficient income to support himself; or
  • The minor obtained the decree of emancipation by fraud or by misrepresenting or withholding material information.13

But the voiding of any decree of emancipation does not alter any contractual obligations the minor incurred while emancipated.14

Considering emancipation in Las Vegas? Call us for help…

If you are thinking about becoming emancipated, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Our Las Vegas emancipation lawyers will discuss your case and whether a court is likely to grant your petition.

To schedule your FREE consultation call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).

Or fill out the form on this page and a lawyer will call you back when it is convenient for you.

 Legal references:

  1. NRS 129.080.
  2. Same. See also NRS 129.090.
  3. NRS 129.120 (4).
  4. NRS 129.010.
  5. NRS 129.130 (5).
  6. NRS 129.080.
  7. Same.
  8. NRS 129.110.
  9. NRS 129.090.
  10. NRS 129.120 (4).
  11. NRS 129.130 (3).
  12. NRS 129.130 (5).
  13. NRS 129.130 (6).
  14. NRS 129.130 (7).


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