Is my son considered an adult at age 18 in South Carolina or should we emancipate him?
01/01/2009 - Category:Minors - Age of Majority - State: SC #14899
In South Carolina, do I have to emancipate my 18 year old defiant-type son? He still lives at home, but we don't want liability for what he does and if he wants to go to college, he will do better obtaining Federal scholarships such as Pell grants if we are 'divorced' from all responsibility? How do we do this?
The age of majority is the legally defined age at which a person is considered an adult, with all the attendant rights and responsibilities of adulthood. The age of majority is defined by state laws, which vary by state, but is 18 in most states. Rights acquired upon reaching the age of majority include the rights to vote and consent to marriage, among others. It is the age at which one becomes a legal adult and gains full legal rights. It is also the age at which a person is liable for their own actions, such as contractual obligations or liability for negligence. In general, a parental duty of support to a child ceases when the child reaches the age of majority.
A minor is considered emancipated when he or she has achieved independence from his or her parents. A minor child may be allowed to petition a court for emancipation to free the minor child from the control of parents and allow the minor to live on his/her own or under the control of others. Emancipation usually applies to adolescents who leave the parents' household by agreement or demand. Some of the most common methods for a minor to become emancipated include marriage, reaching the age of majority, entering military service, or by court order. A parent may also formally or informally agree to give up some or all of his/her parental control. For example, a parent might consent to allowing a child to establish a separate household. In other cases, a parent may force the minor to leave and support him/herself. Generally, parental consent is required, except in cases of parental misconduct that causes the minor to leave the home. Requirements for emancipation vary by state, but typically a minor who seeks a court order of emancipation must prove that the minor is a certain minimum age or older; they willingly want to live separate and apart from their parents with the consent or acquiescence of the parents (the parents do not object to the minor living apart from them); the minor can manage their own finances; the minor has a source of income that does not come from any illegal activity; and emancipation would not be contrary to the minor's best interests.
The following are South Carolina statutes:
§ 20-7-30. Definitions.
When used in this chapter and unless otherwise defined or the specific context indicates otherwise:
(1) "Child" means a person under the age of eighteen.
(2) "Court" means the family court.
(3) "Guardian" means a person who legally has the care and management of a child.
(4) "Judge" means the judge of the family court.
(5) "Parent" means biological parent, adoptive parents, step-parent, or person with legal custody.
(6) "Status offense" means any offense which would not be a misdemeanor or felony if committed by an adult, such as, but not limited to, incorrigibility (beyond the control of parents), truancy, running away, playing or loitering in a billiard room, playing a pinball machine or gaining admission to a theater by false identification.
(7) "Child caring facility" means a campus with one or more staffed residences and with a total population of twenty or more children who are in care apart from their parents, relatives, or guardians on a continuing full-time basis for protection and guidance.
(8) "Foster home" means a household of one or more persons who are licensed or approved to provide full-time care for one to five children living apart from their parents or guardians.
(9) "Residential group care home" means a staffed residence with a population fewer than twenty children who are in care apart from their parents, relatives, or guardians on a full-time basis.
§ 20-7-150. Definitions.
In this subarticle, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Adult" is a person who has attained the age of twenty-one years.
(2) "Bank" is any bank, trust company, national banking association or industrial bank.
(3) "Broker" is a person lawfully engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others. The term includes a bank which effects such transactions. The term also includes a person lawfully engaged in buying and selling securities for his own account through a broker or otherwise as a part of a regular business.
(4) "Court" means the court or branch having jurisdiction.
(5) "Custodial property" includes:
(a) All securities, life insurance policies, annuity contracts, real estate, tangible personal property and money and any other type of property under the supervision of the same custodian for the same minor as a consequence of a gift made to the minor in a manner prescribed in this subarticle.
(b) The income from the custodial property.
(c) The proceeds, immediate and remote, from the sale, exchange, conversion, investment, reinvestment, surrender or other disposition of such securities, money, life insurance policies, annuity contracts, real estate, tangible personal property and other property.
(6) "Custodian" is a person so designated in manner prescribed in this chapter and the term includes a successor custodian.
(7) "Guardian" of a minor means the general guardian, guardian, tutor or curator of his property or estate, appointed or qualified by a court of this State or another state.
(8) "Issuer" is a person who places or authorizes the placing of his name on a security, other than as a transfer agent, to evidence that it represents a share, participation or other interest in his property or in an enterprise, or to evidence his duty or undertaking to perform an obligation evidenced by the security or who becomes responsible for in place of any such person.
(9) "Legal representative" of a person in his executor or the administrator, general guardian, guardian, committee, conservator, tutor or curator of his property or estate.
(10) "Member of a minor's family" means any of the minor's parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, whether of the whole blood or the half blood, or by or through legal adoption.
(11) "Minor" is a person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, excluding a person under the age of twenty-one who is married or emancipated as decreed by the family court.
(12) "Savings and loan association" is a state-chartered savings and loan association or building and loan association or a federally-chartered savings and loan association.
(13) "Security" includes any note, stock, treasury stock, bond, debenture, evidence of indebtedness, certificate of interest or participation in an oil, gas or mining title or lease or in payments out of production under such a title or lease, collateral trust certificate, transferable share, voting-trust certificate or, in general, any interest or instrument commonly known as a security, any certificate of interest or participation in any temporary or interim certificate, receipt or certificate of deposit for or any warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase any of the foregoing. The term does not include a security of which the donor is the issuer. A security is in "registered form" when it specifies a person entitled to it or to the rights it evidences and its transfer may be registered upon books maintained for that purpose by or on behalf of the issuer.
(14) "Transfer agent" is a person who acts as authenticating trustee, transfer agent, registrar or other agent for an issuer in the registration of transfers of its securities or in the issue of new securities in the cancellation of surrendered securities.
(15) "Trust company" is a bank, corporation or other legal entity authorized to exercise trust powers in this State.
(16) "Financial institution" is a bank, a federal savings and loan association, a savings institution chartered and supervised as a savings and loan or similar institution under federal law or the laws of a state, a federal credit union or a credit union chartered and supervised under the laws of a state; a "domestic financial institution" is one chartered and supervised under the laws of this State or chartered and supervised under federal law and having its principal office in this State; an "insured financial institution" is one in which deposits (including a savings, share, certificate or deposit account) are, in whole or in part, insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or by a deposit insurance fund approved by this State.
(17) "Life insurance policy or annuity contract" means a life insurance policy or annuity contract issued by an insurance company on the life of a minor to whom a gift of the policy or contract is made in the manner prescribed in this subarticle or on the life of a member of the minor's family.
§ 20-7-250. Ratification after reaching majority of contracts made by minor must be in writing.
No action shall be maintained whereby to charge any person upon any promise made after full age to pay any debt contracted during infancy or upon any ratification after full age of any promise (except upon contracts for necessaries) made during infancy unless such promise or ratification shall be made by some writing signed by the party to be charged therewith.
§ 20-7-260. Minors have full legal capacity to borrow money for higher education.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, any person who, not having attained his majority, contracts to borrow money to defray the expenses of attending any institution of higher learning, shall have full legal capacity to act in his own behalf and shall have all the rights, powers and privileges and be subject to the obligations of persons of full age with respect to any such contracts.
§ 20-7-280. Minor sixteen years old or over may consent to health services other than operations.
Any minor who has reached the age of sixteen years may consent to any health services from a person authorized by law to render the particular health service for himself and the consent of no other person shall be necessary unless such involves an operation which shall be performed only if such is essential to the health or life of such child in the opinion of the performing physician and a consultant physician if one is available.
§ 20-7-290. Certain health services may be rendered to minor of any age without consent of parent or guardian.
Health services of any kind may be rendered to minors of any age without the consent of a parent or legal guardian when, in the judgment of a person authorized by law to render a particular health service, such services are deemed necessary unless such involves an operation which shall be performed only if such is essential to the health or life of such child in the opinion of the performing physician and a consultant physician if one is available.
§ 20-7-300. Minor parent may consent to health services for child.
Any minor who has been married or has borne a child may consent to health services for the child.
§ 20-7-320. Use or possession of alcoholic beverages by person under twenty-one in home for religious purposes.
No provision of law prohibiting the use or possession of beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages by persons under twenty-one years of age shall apply to any person under twenty-one years of age in the home of his parents or guardian or to any such beverage used for religious ceremonies or purposes so long as such beverage was legally purchased.
§ 62-5-425. Distributive duties and powers of conservator.
(a) A conservator may expend or distribute sums from the principal of the estate without court authorization or confirmation for the support, education, care, or benefit of the protected person and his dependents in accordance with the following principles:
(1) The conservator is to consider recommendations relating to the appropriate standard of support, education, and benefit for the protected person made by a parent or guardian, if any. He may not be surcharged for sums paid to persons or organizations actually furnishing support, education, or care to the protected person pursuant to the recommendations of a parent or guardian of the protected person unless he knows that the parent or guardian is deriving personal financial benefit therefrom, including relief from any personal duty of support, or unless the recommendations are clearly not in the best interests of the protected person.
(2) The conservator is to expend or distribute sums reasonably necessary for the support, education, care, or benefit of the protected person with due regard to
(i) the size of the estate, the probable duration of the conservatorship and the likelihood that the protected person, at some future time, may be fully able to manage his affairs and the estate which has been conserved for him;
(ii) the accustomed standard of living of the protected person and members of his household;
(iii) other funds or sources used for the support of the protected person.
(3) The conservator may expend funds of the estate for the support of persons legally dependent on the protected person.
(4) Funds expended under this subsection may be paid by the conservator to any person, including the protected person, to reimburse for expenditures which the conservator might have made, or in advance for services to be rendered to the protected person when it is reasonable to expect that they will be performed and where advance payments are customary or reasonably necessary under the circumstances.
(b) When a minor who has not been adjudged disabled under Section 62-5-401 (2) attains his majority or is emancipated, his conservator, after meeting all prior claims and expenses of administration, shall pay over and distribute all funds and properties to the former protected person as soon as possible. An individual under the age of eighteen who is also married shall remain a minor for purposes of this subsection until attaining majority or emancipation.
(1) When the conservator is satisfied that a protected person's disability (other than minority) has ceased, then he shall petition the court, and after determination by the court that the disability has ceased in accordance with Section 62-5-430, the conservator, after meeting all prior claims and expenses of administration shall pay over and distribute all funds and properties to the former protected person as soon as possible.
(2) When the conservator is satisfied that a protected person's estate has a value of less than five thousand dollars, then he may petition the court, and after determination by the court that the protected person's estate has a value of less than five thousand dollars, the court in its discretion may terminate the conservatorship and order the conservator, after meeting all prior claims and expenses of administration, to pay over and distribute all funds and properties to or for the protected person as soon as possible and in accordance with Section 62-5-103.
(d) If a protected person dies, the conservator shall deliver to the court for safekeeping any will of the deceased protected person which may have come into his possession, inform the executor or a beneficiary named therein that he has done so, and retain the estate for delivery to a duly appointed personal representative of the decedent or other persons entitled thereto. If after thirty days from the death of the protected person no other person has been appointed personal representative and no application or petition for appointment is before the court, the conservator may apply to exercise the powers and duties of a personal representative so that he may proceed to administer and distribute the decedent's estate. Upon application for an order granting the powers of a personal representative to a conservator, after notice to any person demanding notice under § 62-3-204 and to any person nominated executor in any will of which the applicant is aware, the court may order the conferral of the power upon determining that there is no objection, and endorse the letters of the conservator to note that the formerly protected person is deceased and that the conservator has acquired all of the powers and duties of a personal representative. The making and entry of an order under this section shall have the effect of an order of appointment of a personal representative as provided in § 62-3-308 and Parts 6 through 10 of Article 3 [§§ 62-3-601 et seq. through §§ 62-3-1001 et seq.] except that estate in the name of the conservator, after administration, may be distributed to the decedent's successors without prior retransfer to the conservator as personal representative.
(e) A person shall not be disqualified as an executor of a deceased protected person solely by reason of his having been appointed and acting conservator of that protected person.
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01/01/2009 - Category: Age of Majority - State: SC #14899
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