Can You Divorce Your Parents

Yes, a child can divorce their family. In some countries, it is known as child emancipation. It involves the child becoming legally recognised as an adult, meaning that they are no longer under the control or authority of their parents and that their parents no longer have responsibilities towards them. In Australia, these cases are handled by the Children’s Court.


A child can become divorced from their parents by making an application to the Children’s Court. There must be a reason for making the application. Usually, such applications are made when the child has been harmed by the parents or is at risk of harm. However, children can also apply to the Children’s Court by citing irreconcilable differences. Parents are able to initiate applications as well.


No court hearing date will be provided until the applicant can show that attempts at other forms of dispute resolution, namely mediation and counselling, have failed to help the parties come to any form of reconciliation.


In many cases, counselling is successful and a court date is not necessary. If a child does successfully have their court application heard and an order is made in their favour, they will then no longer be under the authority of their parents. The state becomes their guardian. Such orders are quite rare.