What is an emancipated minor? Meaning explained

WILL Smith revealed that his "heart shattered" when his then-15-year-old son Jaden Smith asked to be legally emancipated from his parents.

And the actor and rapper isn't the only celeb to seek separation from their parents. But what exactly does the process involve? Here's everything you need to know…

What is an emancipated minor?

An emancipated minor is somebody who, although under the age of eighteen, is freed from the control of parents and guardians.

This means that they're allowed to make legal decisions and enter into contracts that others of the same age cannot, giving emancipated minors an unusual amount of independence and control.

Every state has some form of emancipation, and it can be filed under a number of grounds – including economic independence, military service and marriage.

It is a difficult and sometimes lengthy legal process – however, it can be made easier if the parents or guardians agree to the separation.

Why did Jaden Smith want to be separated from his parents?

Will Smith is set to reveal in an upcoming memoir how son Jaden had asked him to be legally emancipated after starring in 2013 film After Earth together.

The movie, which bombed at the box office and was widely slated by critics, left Jaden open to trolling.

Will explained that "Jaden took the hit" for the failure and that he blamed himself for the abuse his son experienced, writing: "I had coached him into the worst public mauling he'd ever experienced."

The 53-year-old star then explained that Jaden "ultimately decided against" the emancipation, which would have given the then-15-year-old star greater control over his projects and salary.

Have any other celebrities been emancipated from their parents?

In the world of Hollywood, it's not too uncommon to find young stars splitting from their parents – whether over pay disputes or addiction issues.

Here's a few…

Macaulay Culkin

Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin sought control over his own finances not long after his parents' divorce, when he was just 14.

It's believed he paid his mother's legal fees but no longer has contact with his father.

Corey Feldman

Another child star, Feldman sought emancipation aged 15 after a series of family arguments over his acting fortune.

The star would later go on to claim that his parents had physically abused him during his childhood.

Courtney Love

Courtney Love had a challenging upbringing that lead to her entering a juvenile detention facility at the age of 14.

Two years later at 16, Love broke away from her parents for good and began supporting herself illegally as a stripper.

Frances Bean Cobain

Courtney's daughter with late grunge star Kurt Cobain, Frances Bean Cobain, sadly followed in her mother's footsteps at the age of 17, when she sought an emancipation order – even going as far as to get a restraining order against her mother.

Although it's believed that Courtney still owes Frances money that she borrowed from her daughter's trust fund, the two are back on speaking terms today.

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore severed ties with her parents aged 15 after a series of addiction issues that began at the age of just 11.

Drew, who was already estranged from her father, left her mother's house behind to an apartment of her own despite being just a teenager.

Others stars to have legally "divorced" their parents include…

  • Ariel Winter
  • Michelle Williams
  • Alicia Silverstone
  • Taylor Momsen
  • Rose McGowan
  • Aaron Carter

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