QLD Centrelink - Ways to Acquire the Emancipation of a Minor?

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Kiarah Lawson

17 June 2019
I am a 16-year-old female currently deemed independent by Centrelink, however, I am not legally deemed independent and my mother still has complete parental rights even though she does not live with me, nor has frequent contact. This has become an issue after a recent stay in a youth psych ward and their obligation to contact my legal parent which caused her to contact her father asking him to harass my grandfather and ask what was going on. My father is deceased (suicide) and we have evidence of frequent abuse against both my father and myself.

Is there any way that I 'divorce' my mother and get her parental rights removed?


Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
No there is no divorce of parents in the Australian system.

I'm sorry, but I don't have any good suggestions to offer you. I really wish I did and I hope someone smarter than me comes here and gives you better options than I have to offer.


Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
Hi Kiarah...

Parental responsibility can only be removed by court order or marriage. It is rarely granted by order, and It ends at 18 anyway, so it's entirely possible that you will be 18 before a court made a decision..

If reporting by medical staff is an issue, I'm wondering if you could appoint somebody you trust as medical power of attorney. If possible and the relevant institutions are made aware of it, that MAY be an alternative. Not sure, just an idea.

My father is deceased (suicide) and we have evidence of frequent abuse against both my father and myself.
you are entirely within your rights, and are able to apply for a domestic violence order that will direct mum not to abuse you. This can be done at any local court. You will need to supply in writing some incidents of the kind of abuse that may warrant the granting of a DVO..


Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
You may be able to do it through the Children's Court, but if so, it would require evidence of extensive mediation and counselling first. Unless you already have that, it probably wouldn't be worth pursuing because you would likely be 18yo (or close to it) by the time you go through all of that and get a decision from the court.

Depending on your circumstances though (such as who you're living with), you may have other options - perhaps something along the lines of legal guardianship. If there's any members on here who have experience with the Children's Court, I'm sure they would be able to advise you further and hopefully suggest some better options.


13 January 2020
Hi Kiarah,

I'm not sure if it is still relevant but might help someone else. We have been researching the topic ourselves and while can't find any information for other states but I came across of article on ABC back in 2004. There was a boy in Vic that was said to be the youngest Australian to divorce his parents. He was 14 years old.