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Question: Even though I am only 17 I am graduating high school. Can I get emancipated when I graduate or do I have to wait til I'm 18?

Answer: The Arizona Legislature passed a new law that goes into effect on August 12, 2005 that allows minors to be emancipated. However, emancipation is a very difficult process that few are eligible for.

Youth can be emancipated if they meet the following criteria:

  • At least 16
  • An Arizona resident
  • Financially self-sufficient.
  • Acknowledges in writing that they have read and understand the rights and obligations of emancipation
  • The minor is not ward of the court or in the state’s custody.
Minor must demonstrate to the court the ability to:
  • Manage financial, personal and social affairs.
  • Live wholly independent of parent or guardian.
  • Obtain or maintain health care, education, training or employment.

Documentation-- the minor must provide at least one (1) of the following:

  • Documentation of the minor’s independent living for at least three consecutive months.
  • Statement explaining why the minor believes the home of the parent or legal guardian is unsafe.
  • A notarized statement of written consent from the parent or guardian in addition to an explanation by the parent or guardian.

Court Process

  • The court has up to 90 days to hear the emancipation request.
  • Minor may represent themself or be represented by an attorney.
  • The court may appoint a lawyer for the minor.
  • At least 2 months before the hearing, the court must notify the minor's parents.
  • The parents have up to 30 days to object to the emanicpation.
  • The parents may request mediation or the court may order mediation.

Basis for Court decision

  • Potential risks and consequences of emancipation.
  • The wishes of the minor.
  • Opinions and recommendations of the minor’s parents or guardian.
  • Financial resources of the minor and the minor’s ability to be financially self-sufficient.
  • The employment, education and criminal history of the minor.

Rights of Emancipated Minors -- An emancipated minor is entitled to:

    • Enter a contract.
    • Sue and be sued.
    • Buy and sell real property.
    • Establish legal residence.
    • Pay child support.
    • Incur debts.
    • Apply for social services.
    • Obtain a job-related license.
    • Apply for school.
    • Apply for loans.
    • Access medical treatment and records.
    • Consent to medical treatment.
    • A driver's licencse or non-operating license with the words: Emancipated Minor.

    1 thru 4 of 4 comments
    On 03/25/08
    Luxx from CO said:

    Im 14 and 6 months pregnant my boyfriend at the time i got pregnant was 18 I was 13. I was living with is mother and him for the last few months, then DHS found out and put me in there costody. My mother which is living in texas is taking me back to live with her very soon. I want to get emancipated so that me and my child father can get married, I can get a job, and move back to CO.

    On 12/06/06
    Erika from AZ said:
    Hi ! I'm not in a physical abusive situation but my mother and i can never seem to get along. I already have my G.E.D and I'm taking college course. I pay for all my own things I have paid off my car and I pay my own insurance and Clothing. The only thing I don't pay for is living expenses. I can not stand to live with my parents any longer. We just never seem to get along. My mom keeps holding against me my past no criminal records but family trials and lies in my past that i regret fully but she keeps saying that the law will hold that against me. What do u think ? will they side with her?
    On 07/12/06
    Ashley Rae from AZ said:
    what if you're not in an abusive place physically just mentally? I have a child, I am a B student, I have no criminal records, I'm in school studying to be a nurse. my grandfather controls every thing I do. It's bad enough that the my boyfriend/child's dad is not accepted by him, but he tries to keep us away from him as much as possible. my boyfriend has a job and he gives me money when ever I want. He comes to visit as much as possible. Just because he has one year left of high school and he's 20 years old. This automatically makes him a low life. I'm lost.
    On 06/14/06
    nbrunk from OK said:
    Mancipator ; take my advice stay at home as long as you can get away with it ; the food is Cheaped and Better and the Beds are cleaner ; you can barrow a better car allmost anytime ; if you run short on funds and / or Pizza ;they are ways to get it without a hand Gun ! Yes in most States you can Amancipate from your Parents when you r 17 and out of Highschool ; but again take my word they are bound by law to Educate you to the Fullest ;I believe ; until you are 21 ; as long as you are unmarried , living at home and still on their tax report ; Stay their if you can ,possibly stand it.
    1 thru 4 of 4 comments

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