Speak Up! - View Question #23944
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My son is planning to drop out of school at 16. He is a bright boy, and I'm sure at some point he will get his GED. While I do not support his decision, I will help him get a job at 16 --but show him the door as well. Can a parent initiate an emancipation request if the minor refuses to attend high school, and can support himself financially?
There doesn't seem to be a procedure that permits a parent to file an emancipation petition. (And if you think about it, that probably makes sense. Otherwise, parents frustrated with their minor children would always petition for emancipation just to get rid of a kid with whom they don't want to hassle.) A.R.S. § 12-2451 provides the basics on how to start the process if the child wishes to take that step. You (and your son) should also carefully review A.R.S. § 12-2452 (concerning mediation), 12-2453 (burden of proof & factors considered), and 12-2454 (consequences of emancipation) before he takes the plunge (assuming he wants to) - because it may prove more complicated and serious than either of you realize.
Obviously, one would like to see children remain in school through graduation. And your son's decision to drop out indeed may be a poor one. For better or worse, however, you are still responsible for his upbringing until he reaches the age of majority - or until he decides to seek emancipation himself. You may want to consider briefly consulting with a lawyer who works in Arizona juvenile law as that attorney is practiced in this area of law and can sit down and discuss the specifics of your situation. This answer is intended as information only.