A minor in New Mexico over the age of 16, but under the age of 18, may, for one reason or another, desire the legal rights of adulthood. In New Mexico, three categories allow minors to become legal adults: marriage, active military duty or a declaration of emancipation from a court in accordance with the Emancipation of Minors Act (EMA).
Become familiar with the legal rights granted with emancipation. Note that once emancipated, you, the minor, may: consent to medical care without the consent of either parent; enter into binding contracts; be sued in your name; be sued by your parents (your parents lose all legal rights to control you or your earnings); and establish your own residence and buy or sell real estate.
Determine which category you fall under in emancipation.
Marriage: In New Mexico, a man and a woman may get married at the age of 18. They can get married at 16 with parental consent or younger with an order from the children’s court. If the marriage results in divorce before the minor turns 18, you still have the rights of emancipation.
Armed service: If you are over the age of 16 and are on active duty in any of the U.S. armed services you may file for emancipation.
Declaration of Emancipation: According to the EMA, you must be willing to live independently of your parents and manage your own finances and the court must find the emancipation in the "child's best interest."
Petition the children's court in your district for emancipation. Legal assistance is generally recommended to complete the emancipation process. A family law attorney can help you navigate the legal ins and outs of emancipation.
Receive the results of the hearing and decide how to proceed. Parent and child have the right to appeal the result of the hearing.
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