12-2451. Petition for emancipation order; requirements; notification; representation; waiver of filing fees

A. A minor who wishes to be emancipated may file a petition for an emancipation order with the clerk of the court in the county in which the minor resides if all of the following apply:

1. The minor is at least sixteen years of age.

2. The minor is a resident of this state.

3. The minor is financially self-sufficient.

4. The minor acknowledges in writing that the minor has read and understands information that is provided by the court and that explains the rights and obligations of an emancipated minor and the potential risks and consequences of emancipation.

5. The minor is not a ward of the court and is not in the care, custody and control of a state agency.

B. A petition filed pursuant to this section must contain the following:

1. The petitioner's name, mailing address, social security number and date of birth.

2. The name and mailing address of the petitioner's parent or legal guardian if known.

3. Specific facts to support the petition, including:

(a) The minor's demonstrated ability to manage the minor's financial affairs including proof of employment or other means of support.

(b) The minor's demonstrated ability to manage the minor's personal and social affairs, including proof of housing.

(c) The minor's demonstrated ability to live wholly independent of the minor's parent.

(d) The minor's demonstrated ability and commitment to obtain or maintain education, vocational training or employment.

(e) How the minor will obtain or maintain health care.

(f) Any other information considered necessary to support the petition.

(g) At least one of the following:

(i) Documentation that the minor has been living on the minor's own for at least three consecutive months.

(ii) A statement explaining why the minor believes the home of the minor's parent or legal guardian is not a healthy or safe environment.

(iii) A notarized statement that contains written consent to the emancipation and an explanation by the minor's parent or legal guardian.

C. The court shall hold a hearing on the petition within ninety days after the date of its filing and shall notify the petitioner and the petitioner's parent or legal guardian of the date and place of the hearing by certified mail at least sixty days before the hearing date.  For good cause shown, the court may continue the initial emancipation hearing.

D. 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.

E. The minor may participate in the court proceedings on the minor's own behalf or be represented by an attorney chosen by the minor.  If the court determines it necessary, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the petitioner.

F. The court may reduce or waive the fee prescribed in section 12-284 for filing a petition for emancipation of a minor for financial hardship.