Can a parent or legal guardian legally emancipate a minor and how would this be done?

Full Question:

Can a parent or legal guardian legally emancipate a minor and how would this be done?
01/01/2009   |   Category: Minors ยป Emancipation...   |   State: New Mexico   |   #14898

Answer:

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 New Mexico statutes:

32A-21-3. Emancipated minors; description.

An emancipated minor is any person sixteen years of age or older who:

A. has entered into a valid marriage, whether or not the marriage was
terminated by dissolution;

B. is on active duty with any of the armed forces of the United
States of America; or

C. has received a declaration of emancipation pursuant to the
Emancipation of Minors Act.

32A-21-4. Emancipation by declaration.

Any person sixteen years of age or older may be declared an emancipated
minor for one or more of the purposes enumerated in the Emancipation of
Minors Act if he is willingly living separate and apart from his
parents, guardian or custodian, is managing his own financial affairs and
the court finds it in the minor's best interest.

32A-21-5. Over the age of majority; purpose.

An emancipated minor shall be considered as being over the age
of majority for one or more of the following purposes:

A. consenting to medical, dental or psychiatric care without
parental consent, knowledge or liability;

B. his capacity to enter into a binding contract;

C. his capacity to sue and be sued in his own name;

D. his right to support by his parents;

E. the rights of his parents to his earnings and to control him;

F. establishing his own residence;

G. buying or selling real property;

H. ending all vicarious liability of the minor's parents, guardian or
custodian for the minor's torts; provided that nothing in this
section shall affect any liability of a parent, guardian, custodian, spouse or
employer of a minor imposed by the Motor Vehicle Code or any vicarious
liability that arises from an agency relationship; or

I. enrolling in any school or college.

32A-21-7. Declaration of Emancipation; petition; contents; notice; mandate.

A. A minor may petition the children's court of the district in which
he resides for a declaration of emancipation as described in the
Emancipation of Minors Act. The petition shall be verified and shall set
forth with specificity the facts bringing the minor within the provisions
of the Emancipation of Minors Act.

B. Before the petition is heard, notice shall be given to the minor's
parents, guardian or custodian in accordance with the Rules of Civil
Procedure for the District Courts.

C. If the court finds that the minor is sixteen years of age or older
and is a person described under Section 48 of this act, the court may
grant the petition unless, after having considered all of the evidence
introduced at the hearing, it finds that granting the petition would be
contrary to the best interests of the minor.

D. If the petition is sustained, the court shall immediately issue a
declaration of emancipation containing specific findings of fact and one
or more purposes of the emancipation, which shall be filed by the county
clerk.

E. If the petition is denied, the minor has a right to file a petition
for a writ of mandamus.

F. If the petition is sustained, the parents, guardian or custodian of
the minor has a right to file a petition for a writ of mandamus if he
appeared in the proceeding and opposed the granting of the petition.

G. A declaration of emancipation granted in accordance with the
Emancipation of Minors Act shall be conclusive evidence that the minor is
emancipated.

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