Divorce: The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.
Sometimes in life the time comes when we must say good-bye and leave. For one’s own survival, for one’s own growth or for one’s own sanity it may be better to leave; to just go. When you don’t agree with the members in your household and the disagreement is disagreeable, it is time for someone to leave. Forgive them, forgive yourself and leave. Take the Lord with you and it will be alright. I am not doing a series on forgiveness, but I feel the urge to visit the subject again.
Forgive and leave.
Divorce is the word assigned to the act of leaving a spouse or partner. It is a legal term but can be generic when one simply leaves the living domain and the relationship. Divorce is the death of a relationship. It can be time-consuming during which your energy will be drained. Divorce can be painful and is notorious for bringing out the ugly in people. As in any death, the two involved often complete each step in the grieving process.
When one or both in a marriage choose to dissolve their relationship their recourse is the divorce. When the couple is not married and they decide that their relationship is over they can honor any pre- arrangement agreement they may have and walk away. What does one do when they come to the bleak conclusion that they must “divorce” their parents?
Divorcing One’s Parent(s) to Gain Freedom
If and when a child under 18 has sufficient reason to “divorce” their parents, they can go to family court, file a petition requesting emancipation, cite their reasons and prove they are financially stable. The parents do not have to agree or give their consent but if the judge grant the emancipation, the parents are no longer responsible for the minor. Many states require the minor to have lived outside their parents’ home for a specific period of time.
Why would a minor request freedom from their parents? There are a variety of reasons:
- To enter into the military without the parents’ consent
- To get married
- To be released from a contract (child professionals, artists, etc.)
- To live alone or with someone else
Emancipation for an employed 17-year-old protects him from getting reported to authorities as a runaway and eliminates the minor from becoming involved in the foster care system. Emancipation is not necessarily an indication of a bad home or bad parents; it allows a minor to legally become an adult and frees the parents of any liability the freedom may have on the minor’s life. It is rarely given but is often granted for the first three reason listed above. It can be very practical to seek emancipation; it allows the child to move on without disrespecting the parents or their household. The parents may feel the teen is too immature to get married and he/she says they are in love. The teen may choose Job Corps, the military or even a college education and not involve their parents’ finances. Emancipation is not the solution for spoiled teens that simply want to live without authority or rules.
Next time: Divorcing the negligent or abusive parent
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