What is Emancipation in Colorado?

Authored By: Colorado Legal Services

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What is the age of "competence"? +

A person is deemed competent when the person attains the age of eighteen years of age or older.  At that age, the person can enter into binding contracts and is criminally responsible as an adult.

What is the age of emancipation? +

There is no statute (existing, written law) that defines the age of emancipation in Colorado. Emancipation is a question of law and can occur when a minor is married, is living independently, outside of  their parents’ home, earns their own living, and/or does what they wish with their earnings.

It is a matter of law, and a court will weigh all facts in determining emancipation.

Is there a law defining emancipation in Colorado? +

Since there is not a statute (existing, written law) in Colorado that defines emancipation and states what rights it gives to an individual, it is not clear what difference it makes to a juvenile to be emancipated.

It is clear that the emancipated juvenile's parents would not have to be notified of a police investigation, and that the parents of an emancipated minor are no longer liable to pay child support.

It is not clear whether the minor would have other rights, such as signing contracts and applying for loans.


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This communication is made available by Colorado Legal Services, Inc., (CLS), as a public service and is issued to inform not to advise. No person should attempt to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of an attorney. The opinions expressed in this communication are those of the authors and not those of CLS or its funding sources.
If you need advice on this or any other legal problem, consult an attorney of your own choosing. If you cannot afford an attorney, talk to Colorado Legal Services, 303.837.1321.
Last Review and Update: Jun 12, 2018