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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

Court Process

  • 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. 

Laws Section

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