Question: If my parents are divorced, would the parent without custody be able to sign for me to be emancipated?
A parent cannot grant emancipation by signature. Emancipation of a minor requires a process where the minor files an application for emancipation with the court and the court holds a hearing to determine if emancipation is in the minor's best interests.
When a minor applies for emancipation there is a requirement in A.R.S. § 12-2451 for 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.
The law does not specify that the parent providing written consent be your custodial parent.
A.R.S. § 12-2451 also provides that the minor's parent or legal guardian may file a written response objecting to the emancipation within thirty days of service of the notice of the hearing.
Thus, your non-custodial parent may sign for the parental permission required in the application, and your custodial parent will have a right to object to your emancipation during the court process. The court would weigh all the relevant factors and make the final decision based on what they find to be in your best interests (A.R.S. § 12-2453). The relevant factors include:
1. The potential risks and consequences of emancipation and to what degree the minor understands these risks and consequences.
2. The wishes of the minor.
3. The opinions and recommendations of the minor's parent or guardian.
4. The financial resources of the minor, including the minor's employment history.
5. The minor's ability to be financially self-sufficient.
6. The minor's level of education and the minor's success in school.
7. Whether the minor has a criminal record
The Arizona laws allowing minors to be emancipated became effective on August 12, 2005. The laws can be found at A.R.S. §§ 12-2451 through 12-2456. You can also find a summary of the law and the process to apply for emancipation on this website under Emancipation.