Georgia Emancipation of Minor Law


Minors – Emancipation of Minor – Georgia

15-11-200.

As used in this article, the term:

(1) “Emancipation” means termination of the rights of the parents to the custody, control, services, and earnings of a minor.
(2) “Minor” means a person who is at least 16 but less than 18 years of age.
(3) “Parents” has the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 15-11-2.

15-11-201.

(a) Emancipation may occur by operation of law or pursuant to a petition filed by a minor with the juvenile court as provided in this article.

(b) An emancipation occurs by operation of law:

(1) When a minor is validly married;
(2) When a person reaches the age of 18 years; or
(3) During the period when the minor is on active duty with the armed forces of the United States.

(c) An emancipation occurs by court order pursuant to a petition filed by a minor with the juvenile court as provided in Code Sections 15-11-202 through 15-11-207.

15-11-202.

A minor seeking emancipation shall file a petition for emancipation in the juvenile court in the county where the minor resides. The petition shall be signed and verified by the minor, and shall include:

(1) The minor’s full name and birth date, and the county and state where the minor was born;
(2) A certified copy of the minor’s birth certificate;
(3) The name and last known address of the minor’s parents or guardian, and if no parent or guardian can be found, the name and address of the minor’s nearest living relative residing within this state;
(4) The minor’s present address and length of residency at that address;
(5) A declaration by the minor indicating that he or she has demonstrated the ability to manage his or her financial affairs; the minor may include any information he or she considers necessary to support the declaration;
(6) A declaration by the minor indicating that he or she has the ability to manage his or her personal and social affairs; the minor may include any information he or she considers necessary to support the declaration; and
(7) The names of adults who have personal knowledge of the minor’s circumstances and believe that under those circumstances emancipation is in the best interest of the minor. Such individuals may include any of the following:

(A) Physician or osteopath licensed pursuant to Chapter 34 of Title 43;
(B) Registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse licensed pursuant to Chapter 26 of Title 43;
(C) Psychologist licensed pursuant to Chapter 39 of Title 43;
(D) Professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist licensed pursuant to Chapter 10A of Title 43;
(E) School guidance counselor, school social worker, or school psychologist;
(F) School administrator, school principal, or school teacher;
(G) Member of the clergy;
(H) Law enforcement officer; or
(I) Attorney.

15-11-203.

(a) Upon filing the petition, a copy of the petition for emancipation and a summons to appear at the hearing shall be served on the minor’s parents or guardian, if applicable, upon any individual who provided an affidavit as set forth in paragraph (7) of Code Section 15-11-202, and any other individual named in the petition.

(b) Any individual served with the petition for emancipation may file an answer to such petition in the juvenile court within 30 days of being served.

15-11-204.

(a) After a petition for emancipation is filed, the court may:

(1) Assign an employee of the court or appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the allegations of the petition and to file a report containing the results of the investigation with the court, including a recommendation as to whether it is in the best interest of the minor that the petition for emancipation be granted;
(2) Appoint an attorney for the minor; and
(3) Appoint an attorney for the minor’s parents or guardian if they are indigent and if they oppose the petition.

(b) After a petition for emancipation is filed, the court shall seek an affidavit from each individual identified in the petition pursuant to paragraph (7) of Code Section 15-11-202 which describes why the individual believes the minor should be emancipated.

15-11-205.

(a) The hearing shall be before a judge; and the court shall issue an emancipation order if it determines that emancipation is in the best interest of the minor and the minor establishes:

(1) That the minor’s parent or guardian does not object to the petition; or if a parent or guardian objects to the petition, that the best interest of the child is served by allowing the emancipation to occur by court order;
(2) That the minor is a resident of this state;
(3) That the minor has demonstrated the ability to manage his or her financial affairs, including proof of employment or other means of support; “other means of support” does not include general assistance or aid received from means-tested public assistance programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or similar programs under Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act;
(4) That the minor has the ability to manage his or her personal and social affairs, including, but not limited to, proof of housing; and
(5) That the minor understands his or her rights and responsibilities under this article as an emancipated minor.

(b) A minor who petitions the court for emancipation shall have the burden of showing by a preponderance of evidence that emancipation should be ordered.

(c) If the court issues an emancipation order, the court shall retain a copy of the order until the emancipated minor becomes 25 years of age.

(d) An emancipation obtained by fraud is voidable. Voiding an emancipation order does not affect an obligation, responsibility, right, or interest that arose during the period of time the order was in effect.

(e) The minor or a parent or guardian of the minor may appeal the court’s grant or denial of an emancipation petition. The appeal shall be filed in the Court of Appeals.

15-11-206.

(a) A minor emancipated by court order may petition the juvenile court that issued the emancipation order to rescind such order.

(b) A copy of the petition for rescission and a summons shall be served on the minor’s parents or guardian.

(c) The court shall grant the petition and rescind the order of emancipation if it finds:

(1) That the minor is indigent and has no means of support;
(2) That the minor and the minor’s parents or guardian agree that the order should be rescinded; or
(3) That there is a resumption of family relations inconsistent with the existing emancipation order.

(d) If a petition for rescission is granted, the court shall issue an order rescinding the emancipation order and retain a copy of the order until the minor becomes 25 years of age.

(e) Rescission of an emancipation order does not alter any contractual obligations or rights or any property rights or interests that arose during the period of time that the emancipation order was in effect.

(f) The minor or a parent or guardian of the minor may appeal the court’s grant or denial of a petition for rescission of an emancipation order. The appeal shall be filed in the Court of Appeals.

15-11-207.

(a) A minor emancipated by operation of law or by court order shall be considered to have the rights and responsibilities of an adult, except for those specific constitutional and statutory age requirements regarding voting, use of alcoholic beverages, and other health and safety regulations relevant to the minor because of his or her age. The rights of a minor to receive any transfer of property or money pursuant to “The Georgia Transfers to Minors Act” under Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 44; under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, the Uniform Gift to Minors Act, or other substantially similar act of another state; or pursuant to a trust agreement shall not be affected by a declaration of an emancipation under this article.

(b) A minor shall be considered emancipated for the purposes of, but not limited to:

(1) The right to enter into enforceable contracts, including apartment leases;
(2) The right to sue or be sued in his or her own name;
(3) The right to retain his or her own earnings;
(4) The right to establish a separate domicile;
(5) The right to act autonomously, and with the rights and responsibilities of an adult, in all business relationships, including, but not limited to, property transactions and obtaining accounts for utilities, except for those estate or property matters that the court determines may require a conservator or guardian ad litem;
(6) The right to earn a living, subject only to the health and safety regulations designed to protect those under the age of 18 regardless of their legal status;
(7) The right to authorize his or her own preventive health care, medical care, dental care, and mental health care, without parental knowledge or liability;
(8) The right to apply for a driver’s license or other state licenses for which he or she might be eligible;
(9) The right to register for school;
(10) The right to apply for medical assistance programs and for other welfare assistance, if needed;
(11) The right, if a parent, to make decisions and give authority in caring for his or her own minor child; and
(12) The right to make a will.

(c) The parents or guardian of a minor emancipated by court order are not liable for any debts incurred by the minor during the period of emancipation.

15-11-208.

(a) The duty to provide support for a minor child shall continue until an emancipation order is granted.

(b) A child emancipated under this article shall not be considered a “deprived child” for purposes of Part 6 of Article 1 of this chapter.

(c) The provisions set forth in Code Section 19-3-2 regarding age limitations to contract for marriage shall apply to a minor who has become emancipated under this article