Irrevocable once declared, emancipation allows a minor to acquire full civil capacity and to no longer be subject to parental authority.

Emancipation can be acquired either:

  • automatically in the event of marriage of the minor.

Emancipation thus acquired cannot be called into question by the divorce or death of one of the spouses.

  • at the request of the father and mother together, or either one of them separately or the family council vis-à-vis the guardianship judge, provided that the minor is at least sixteen years old.

The effects of emancipation

Emancipation has multiple legal effects:

  • parental authority ceases to exist, so parents no longer have the right to custody, supervision or education. Only the maintenance obligation continues.
  • the acquisition of full civilian capacity allows the minor to be legally assimilated as a major for all acts of civil life: free disposal of capital placed in their name, acquisition or sale of movable or immovable property, acceptance of a donation or succession, legal proceedings, etc.

Parents are still required to contribute to the maintenance and upbringing of their child (school fees, medical care, clothing, etc.).

The limits of emancipation

Emancipation limits full legal capacity to the civilian domain.


  • the young person’s criminal liability is identical to that applicable to all minors,
  • the minor does not acquire commercial capacity and therefore cannot be a trader;

They may, however, become a partner in a public limited company or a limited liability company or act as a limited partner of a limited partnership;

  • they must obtain the authorisation of their mother or father to marry or be adopted.

Worth knowing:

Certain acts are prohibited to those aged under 18, whether the young person is emancipated or not: voting, driver’s licence, entering into a civil partnership, etc.


Reference text:

Articles 413-1 et seq. of the French Civil Code