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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    1

    Default Can a Sixteen-Year-Old Get Emancipated from a Guardianship

    My question involves juvenile law in the State of: New Mexico.

    I am 16 years of age, and currently live with a cousin who is now my legal guardian by will of my parents who are now deceased. I have graduated high school early, and I have a secure job by which I pay for my expenses with. Though, I'm seeking emancipation so that I can further my education and so that upon leaving, I will be able to enter into contracts, open my own bank account, and consent to any medical procedures that may be necessary. I intend to move out of state to Arizona after I receive emancipation status because I had lived there for a year prior, and therefore have many emergency contacts near by. I have already found a place that I could rent, and my guardian gives her full consent. Is this in good reason for my case to be filed? Would a judge consider my request?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Can a Sixteen-Year-Old Get Emancipated from a Guardianship

    You can move to another state and attend college based upon your guardians' permission, with no need for emancipation.

    Under New Mexico law, to qualify for emancipation you must be "willingly living separate and apart from his parents, guardian or custodian, [and] managing [your] own financial affairs" with a court finding emancipation to be in your best interest. You appear to be stating that you still live with your guardians and, although potentially capable of supporting yourself, that you are not presently self-supporting or managing your own finances. Also, as you intend to move, if that fact comes to the court's attention the court will be aware that you will be quitting your job and may not be able to support yourself after you move.

    In short, at this point it appears that an emancipation petition would be premature, and even if you move out and start supporting yourself, a court may be hesitant to find that emancipation is in your best interest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,429

    Default Re: Can a Sixteen-Year-Old Get Emancipated from a Guardianship

    New Mexico statute provides that there are 3 ways for a minor to gain emancipation: getting married, joining the military, or getting a court declaration of emancipation. In order to get a court declaration of emancipation: “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 [ 32A-21-1 NMSA 1978] 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.” NMS 32A-21-4. So by the statute, you might well succeed if you were already living on your own. You may want to discuss with a NM family law attorney how you might deal with that requirement in order to get a successful result in court.

    There is a complication here, though. You intend to promptly move to Arizona after gaining emancipation, and the issue that comes up is whether Arizona will recognize any emancipation declaration by the NM courts. You might instead wish to simply move to Arizona first and then petition the superior court of that state for emancipation. If you can show that you can live on your own in Arizona and you have your guardian’s approval for the emancipation, it appears you may have a good shot at getting that. Doing it in Arizona would remove any uncertainty as to how Arizona would treat the NM decision. Talk with a family law attorney in the county where you plan to live to discuss this. The Arizona courts’ emancipation page provides more details on what is required. Check out the link to the informational publication that briefly explains emancipation before diving into the rest.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,222

    Default Re: Can a Sixteen-Year-Old Get Emancipated from a Guardianship

    Quote Quoting Svenj
    View Post
    I intend to move out of state to Arizona
    Then I strongly suggest that you delay your attempt at emancipation until you have actually relocated to Arizona, gotten a job, and can show that you are self supporting for the minimum 3 month requirement. Self supporting means not being dependent on anybody for any financial assistance.

    Here's the scoop from the Arizona court website. Study the Information Booklet and all the packets of forms and instructions:

    https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservice...ion-of-a-Minor

    While emancipation is available for a 16 year old in Arizona it is not there for the asking. The court will take a very serious view of your abilities.

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