Divorce Modifications and Contempt

Family Law Regarding Minors in Georgia

Familial Legal Issues Involving Minors

Many life-changing events can throw the lives of minors into a legal matter. This is particularly true when extreme circumstances cause the need for minors to have a determination made on legal guardianship. This page discusses common situations and potential solutions to these types of situations.

In dire situations where there is a question as to where minors will live the only legal options are emancipation or the assignment of legal guardianship.

Types of Situations Affecting Minors

Among the many reasons why there may be a need to assign guardianship, four common reasons are:

  • Abandonment
  • Deaths of parents
  • Parents are uncapable of caring for thier children
  • Child abuse or extreme, willful neglect

Who is a minor in Georgia?

Generally speaking, a minor is recognized as a person under the age of 18 years old who is not emancipated, married, or in the armed forces.

In Georgia, aside from being emancipated, married or in the armed forces, a person is no longer considered a minor when they reach the age of 18 years old. In legal parlance, the age of 18 is referred to as the age of majority.

Legal Options for Care of Minors


Guardianship is the legal process wherein a person (or persons, i.e., grandparents) seeks assignment through the court to be the legally recognized representative of a minor. The guardian assumes all rights, responsibilities and obligations normally held by parents of a minor.


Emancipation of a minor can be done several ways. Each option has its own requirements. The common ways for emancipation of a minor are:

File a "Petition for the Emancipation of a Minor"

A minor, 16 and above, who is a legal resident of Georgia may initiate the emancipation process per a formal process.


In Georgia, to get married a minor must be at least 16 years old with parental consent. Minors under 16 years old may get married if there is a pregnancy or the minor is a parent of a living child. In the absence of parents the Court may approve this request.

Joining Armed Forces

Minors who are 16 years of age may be allowed to join a branch of the United States armed forces. Parental consent is normally required; however, in the absence of parents the Court may approve this request.