Emancipation of a minor

Verified 26 January 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You want to know how a minor can be emancipated, what acts he can perform alone or even know the effects of emancipation? We present you with the information you need to know.

Emancipation is the act by which a minor is legally assimilated to an adult and can perform alone acts requiring a legal majority.

Emancipation has an impact on both the minor and his or her parents. Once emancipated, the minor is no longer under the authority of his parents and has the right to legal capacity.

The minor must be 16 years of age (ie 16 years and 1 day) so that the request can be made.

No, a minor cannot apply for emancipation himself.

The emancipation of a child takes place essentially on the decision of the guardianship judge at the request of his or her parent(s), or in the case of guardianship of the minor, of family council.

However, it may be obtained automatically, with the agreement of the public prosecutor following the minor's marriage.

The request for emancipation must be based on valid reasons and in the best interests of the child (e.g. in case of conflict with the parents).

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By parents

The emancipation of the child can be requested together by his 2 parents.

It can also be requested by only one of the 2 parents in case of disagreement between them or if only one of them exercise parental authority.

The parent(s) must refer (address) to the guardianship judge of the minors, i.e. the family judge (Jaf) of the court of the place of the minor's habitual residence or of the domicile of his legal representative (parents, guardian, guardian).

To do this, it is necessary to use the following form:

Request for emancipation

Who shall I contact

The minor cannot refer the case to the judge himself, but he must be heard by him. This is due to the fact that he does not have the capacity to take legal action because of his age.

Please note

if the parents disagree, the parent who has not applied for emancipation must in principle be heard by the judge. However, an exception exists if the parent is unable to express his or her will (e.g. a parent under guardianship).

For the Family Council

The emancipation of the child, placed under guardianship, may be requested by the family council in any of the following 3 situations:

  • Deceased parents
  • Parents who have lost their parental authority, i.e. they have lost the opportunity to exercise their rights and duties towards their child
  • Parents unable to express their will

It goes back to the guardian request the judge to convene the family council to deliberate on the child's request for emancipation.

In the absence of any action by the guardian, a member of the family council (or the minor himself) may ask the judge to convene the family council.

The Family Council must refer the case to the Judge responsible for guardianship of minors, i.e. the Judge responsible for family matters (Jaf) of the court of the place of the minor's habitual residence or of the guardian's domicile.

He can do it by simple request delivered or addressed to the court registry.

The miner is obligatory heard by the judge.


A minor is automatically emancipated by marriage, regardless of age. The exemption to marry before age 18 is granted by the public prosecutor for serious reasons and with parental consent.

The decision of the judge, pronouncing or refusing emancipation, may be appealed to the Court of Appeal, in 15 days according to its notification.

Who shall I contact

The Public Prosecutor's Office may also appeal the decision until 15 days have elapsed since it received notice of the decision taken or the decision rendered.

The decision to emancipate a minor is not recorded in the civil registers.

The emancipated minor is capable, as a major, of all acts of civil life : he can enter into an employment contract, sign a sale, take out a loan, for example.

He can freely determine his domicile and residence, make himself all his personal choices (nationality, profession, settlement of the conditions of his funeral,...). 

The emancipated minor must, if he has personal income, file a tax return. His parents will also have to make a declaration of non-attachment.

However, some acts deemed serious they are, however prohibited :

  • He cannot marry or consent to his adoption without the consent of his parents.
  • He cannot be a trader without the authorization of the guardianship judge at the time of his emancipation (or of the president of the court after his emancipation).


You have to be 17 years old to drive alone. You have to be 18 to be able to vote, conclude a Civil partnerships or enter a casino.

The emancipated minor ceases to be under the authority of his parents. They are no longer liable for any damage (material damage, such as damage to a vehicle) that the minor may cause.

The emancipated minor can thus choose the place where he will live, his frequentation and leisure activities, his professional orientation.

On the other hand, parents must continue to contribute to the maintenance and education of their child (tuition fees, medical care, clothing, etc.).

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