Emancipation means to be released from parental authority, i.e. to reach adulthood. In Puerto Rico a person reaches the age of majority at the age of 21. The law requires that any minor who wishes to be emancipated must be at least 18 years old.

Ways to achieve emancipation in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, there are several ways to achieve emancipation:

  1. age of majority, which in PR is 21 years of age; or,
  2. by concession of the parents, through a deed; or,
  3. by court, if either parent disagrees; or,
  4. by marriage, but until the age of 18 he or she will not be able to make certain arrangements.

a) By Deed

Under this alternative, since the new Civil Code of 2020, the emancipation has to be by deed, not by affidavit. The deed is a legal document, similar to the affidavit, but with more rigor and formality.

As a general rule, if both parents are listed on the child's Birth Certificate, then they will have to sign the deed, along with the child.

If one of the parents lives outside of PR, then the attorney can send him/her an affidavit to accept the emancipation.

b) By Court

If a parent objects, then a sworn petition would have to be submitted to the court. In this way, a judge will be able to hear the reasons why the parent objects, and then issue a decision.

On the other hand, if the purpose of the emancipation is to qualify for university scholarships, you should know that for some years now it has been a requirement that the emancipation be by court, not by writing.

However, due to the higher costs of going to court, we regret that we do not we do not we regret that we do not handle judicial emancipations.


It is required to submit the child's Birth Certificate, with date of issue from July 1, 2010 onwards (blue color). If you do not have such Certificate, and the child was born in Puerto Rico, you can order it through this link.


Emancipation of a minor, as long as he/she is between 18 and 20 years old, can be done through a deed, to be prepared by a notary attorney in Puerto Rico.

Once the Emancipation Deed is signed, we as notary attorneys take care of the rest. This includes taking a certified copy to the Demographic Registry of Puerto Rico for the deed to be registered.



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