What is Emancipation of a Minor in Arizona?
Arizona statutes Title 12 allows a child ages 16 or older to petition the court to become emancipated from his or her parents. Specific criteria must be met for the petition to be granted, including proof that he or she is able to be independent. A law passed by Arizona Legislature in 2005 enables minors who are at least 16 but not yet 18 can apply for emancipation to be declared an adult legally. This makes the emancipated minor responsible for his or her own medical care, food, and housing. Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-2451 indicates multiple requirements that must be met for emancipation of a minor in Arizona. The rights and responsibilities of an emancipated minor are also described in this statute.
Under the law, an emancipated minor has the right to do several things:
- Operate certain equipment
- Apply for loans and go into debt
- Enter into binding contracts
- Sue and be sued
- Buy and sell real estate
- Obtain social services
- Consent to dental, mental, and medical care for self and children
- Obtain medical records
- Apply for school
If the minor has a child, he or she might have the legal responsibility to pay child support after having been emancipated. After a child has been emancipated, the parents have no legal responsibility to provide medical care, housing, or food. In addition, your parents will not have any claim to your income and cannot be held legally responsible for your actions.
When you request emancipation, several criteria are considered by the court. These factors are all considered by the court:
- Your maturity level and your ability to handle your own financial, social, and personal affairs.
- Your understanding of risks and rights of emancipation.
- Whether or not you have a criminal background.
- The opinion of your parents.
- Your wishes.
- Your educational background and plans for job training and education.
- Your employment and financial situation and whether you can support yourself without assistance from your parents.
In addition, you will have to submit at least one of these documents to the court:
- A signed, notarized consent to your emancipation from a guardian or a parent OR
- Proof that you have been living apart from your parents on your own for at least three months OR
- A statement that explains why the home of your parents is not healthy or safe.
To request emancipation, you must fill out a petition for emancipation of a minor and then file it with the court. Your parents or guardians will have the right to respond to your petition for emancipation of a minor in Arizona. Your parents or guardians must be served with a copy of the petition and notice of the hearing date as well. If all legal processes are not properly followed, the court can dismiss the request. A motion can be filed to request that the court record is sealed, and that the information supplied to the court is kept confidential.
How Can an Arizona Family Law Attorney Help My Emancipation of a Minor Case?
If you are filing a petition to be emancipated or if you are a parent who is contesting a child’s request for emancipation, you need to consult with an Arizona family law attorney who understands such legal matters. With the help and guidance of an attorney, the process can go much more smoothly and more efficiently. The process is very detailed and precise, and a family law attorney understands the process and how the legal system works. Schedule a case review with an attorney who handles the emancipation of a minor today.