Kentucky Emancipation of Minor Law


Minors – Emancipation of Minor – Kentucky

Although Kentucky does not have a specific statute to address emancipation of minors, other sections exist which give the definition of an emancipated minor under certain circumstances.

214.185. Diagnosis and treatment of disease, addictions, or other conditions of minor.

(1) Any physician, upon consultation by a minor as a patient, with the consent of such minor may make a diagnostic examination for venereal disease, pregnancy, alcohol or other drug abuse or addiction and may advise, prescribe for, and treat such minor regarding venereal disease, alcohol and other drug abuse or addiction, contraception, pregnancy, or childbirth, all without the consent of or notification to the parent, parents, or guardian of such minor patient, or to any other person having custody of such minor patient. Treatment under this section does not include inducing of an abortion or performance of a sterilization operation. In any such case, the physician shall incur no civil or criminal liability by reason of having made such diagnostic examination or rendered such treatment, but such immunity shall not apply to any negligent acts or omissions.

(2) Any physician may provide outpatient mental health counseling to any child age sixteen (16) or older upon request of such child without the consent of a parent, parents, or guardian of such child.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, and without limiting cases in which consent may be otherwise obtained or is not required, any emancipated minor or any minor who has contracted a lawful marriage or borne a child may give consent to the furnishing of hospital, medical, dental, or surgical care to his or her child or himself or herself and such consent shall not be subject to disaffirmance because of minority. The consent of the parent or parents of such married or emancipated minor shall not be necessary in order to authorize such care. For the purpose of this section only, a subsequent judgment of annulment of marriage or judgment of divorce shall not deprive the minor of his adult status once obtained. The provider of care may look only to the minor or spouse for payment for services under this section unless other persons specifically agree to assume the cost.

(4) Medical, dental, and other health services may be rendered to minors of any age without the consent of a parent or legal guardian when, in the professional’s judgment, the risk to the minor’s life or health is of such a nature that treatment should be given without delay and the requirement of consent would result in delay or denial of treatment.

(5) The consent of a minor who represents that he may give effective consent for the purpose of receiving medical, dental, or other health services but who may not in fact do so, shall be deemed effective without the consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, if the person rendering the service relied in good faith upon the representations of the minor.

(6) The professional may inform the parent or legal guardian of the minor patient of any treatment given or needed where, in the judgment of the professional, informing the parent or guardian would benefit the health of the minor patient.

(7) Except as otherwise provided in this section, parents, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, or any other custodian or guardian of a minor shall not be financially responsible for services rendered under this section unless they are essential for the preservation of the health of the minor.

311.732. Performance of abortion upon a minor — Definitions — Consent requirement — Petition in District or Circuit Court — Medical emergencies.

(1) For purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Minor” means any person under the age of eighteen (18);
(b) “Emancipated minor” means any minor who is or has been married or has by court order or otherwise been freed from the care, custody, and control of her parents; and
(c) “Abortion” means the use of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device with intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with intent other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, or to remove a dead fetus.

(2) No person shall perform an abortion upon a minor unless:

(a) The attending physician or his agent secured the informed written consent of the minor and one (1) parent or legal guardian;
(b) The minor is emancipated and the attending physician or his agent has received the informed written consent of the minor; or
(c) The minor elects to petition any Circuit or District Court of the Commonwealth pursuant to subsection (3) of this section and obtain an order pursuant to subsection (4) of this section granting consent to the abortion and the attending physician or his agent has received the informed written consent of the minor.

(3) Every minor shall have the right to petition any Circuit or District Court of the Commonwealth for an order granting the right to self-consent to an abortion pursuant to the following procedures:

(a) The minor or her next friend may prepare and file a petition setting forth the request of the minor for an order of consent to an abortion;
(b) The court shall insure that the minor prepares or her next friend is given assistance in preparing and filing the petition and shall insure that the minor’s identity is kept anonymous;
(c) The minor may participate in proceedings in the court on her own behalf or through her next friend and the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for her. The court shall advise her that she has a right to court-appointed counsel and shall provide her with such counsel upon her request;
(d) All proceedings under this section shall be anonymous and shall be given preference over other matters to insure that the court may reach a decision promptly, but in no case shall the court fail to rule within seventy-two (72) hours of the time of application, provided that the seventy-two (72) hour limitation may be extended at the request of the minor; and
(e) The court shall hold a hearing on the merits of the petition before reaching a decision. The court shall hear evidence at the hearing relating to the emotional development, maturity, intellect, and understanding of the minor; the nature, possible consequences, and alternatives to the abortion; and any other evidence that the court may find useful in determining whether the minor should be granted majority rights for the purpose of consenting to the abortion or whether the abortion is in the best interest of the minor.

(4) The court shall enter a written order, making specific factual findings and legal conclusions supporting its decision as follows:

(a) Granting the petition for an abortion if the court finds that the minor is mature and well informed enough to make the abortion decision on her own;
(b) Granting consent to the abortion if the court finds that the performance of the abortion would be in the minor’s best interest; or
(c) Deny the petition, if the court finds that the minor is immature and that performance of the abortion would not be in the minor’s best interest.

(5) Any minor shall have the right of anonymous and expedited appeal to the Court of Appeals, and that court shall give precedence over other pending matters.

(6) No fees shall be required of any minor who declares she has no sufficient funds to pursue the procedures provided by this section.

(7) The Supreme Court is respectfully requested to promulgate any rules and regulations it feels are necessary to ensure that proceedings under this section are handled in an expeditious and anonymous manner.

(8) The requirements of subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section shall not apply when, in the best medical judgment of the physician based on the facts of the case before him, a medical emergency exists that so complicates the pregnancy as to require an immediate abortion, A physician who does not comply with subsection (2), (3), or (4) of this section due to the utilization of this exception shall certify in writing the medical indications upon which his judgment was based.

(9) A report indicating the basis for any medical judgment that warrants failure to obtain consent pursuant to this section shall be filed with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on a form supplied by the cabinet. This report shall be confidential.

(10) Failure to obtain consent pursuant to the requirements of this section is prima facie evidence of failure to obtain informed consent and of interference with family relations in appropriate civil actions. The law of this state shall not be construed to preclude the award of exemplary damages in any appropriate civil action relevant to violations of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the common-law rights of parents.

403.213. Criteria for modification of orders for child support and for health care — Effects of emancipation and death of obligated parent — Commission to review guidelines.

(1) The Kentucky child support guidelines may be used by the parent, custodian, or agency substantially contributing to the support of the child as the basis for periodic updates of child support obligations and for modification of child support orders for health care. The provisions of any decree respecting child support may be modified only as to installments accruing subsequent to the filing of the motion for modification and only upon a showing of a material change in circumstances that is substantial and continuing.

(2) Application of the Kentucky child support guidelines to the circumstances of the parties at the time of the filing of a motion or petition for modification of the child support order which results in equal to or greater than a fifteen percent (15%) change in the amount of support due per month shall be rebuttably presumed to be a material change in circumstances. Application which results in less than a fifteen percent (15%) change in the amount of support due per month shall be rebuttably presumed not to be a material change in circumstances. For the one (1) year period immediately following enactment of this statute, the presumption of material change shall be a twenty-five percent (25%) change in the amount of child support due rather than the fifteen percent (15%) stated above.

(3) Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the decree, provisions for the support of a child shall be terminated by emancipation of the child unless the child is a high school student when he reaches the age of eighteen (18). In cases where the child becomes emancipated because of age, but not due to marriage, while still a high school student, the court-ordered support shall continue while the child is a high school student, but not beyond completion of the school year during which the child reaches the age of nineteen (19) years. Provisions for the support of the child shall not be terminated by the death of a parent obligated to support the child. If a parent obligated to pay support dies, the amount of support may be modified, revoked, or commuted to a lump-sum payment, to the extent just and appropriate in the circumstances. Emancipation of the child shall not terminate the obligation of child support arrearages that accrued while the child was an unemancipated minor.

(4) The child support guidelines table shall be reviewed at least once every four (4) years by a commission consisting of the following persons:

(a) The secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or a supervisory staff person designated by him;
(b) Two (2) members of the Kentucky Bar Association who have at least six (6) consecutive years’ experience and are presently practicing domestic relations cases, one (1) member from a metropolitan or large urban area and one (1) member from a less populated area;
(c) Two (2) Circuit Judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, one (1) from a metropolitan or large urban area, and one (1) from a less populated area;
(d) One (1) District Judge appointed by the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court;
(e) Two (2) county attorneys appointed by the president of the County Attorneys Association, one (1) from a metropolitan or large urban area and one (1) from a less populated area;
(f) The Attorney General or his designee, who shall be an attorney from his office;
(g) One (1) person who is a custodial parent;
(h) One (1) person who is a noncustodial parent;
(i) One (1) person who is a parent with split custody; and
(j) One (1) child advocate.

The members designated in paragraphs (g) to (j) of this subsection shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of three (3) names for each category submitted by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. If the status of one (1) of these members changes, the member shall be replaced through appointment by the Governor from a list of three (3) names submitted by the cabinet.

(5) The commission shall make a recommendation to the Kentucky General Assembly to ensure that the child support guidelines table results in a determination of appropriate child support amounts.