The Arizona Legislature passed a new law that went into effect on August 12, 2005 and allows minors to be emancipated. The law can be found at (A.R.S. §§ 12-2451) through 12-2456. 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 Glossary Link 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.
- The court has up to 90 days to hear the emancipation request.
- Minor may represent themself or be represented by an Glossary Link attorney.
- The court may appoint a Glossary Link 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 emancipation.
- 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 license or non-operating license with the words: Emancipated Minor.
Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated. The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.