JOb. parental permission, court order, ability to support yourself financially and socially, a place to live for starters
An act of the legislature has established the status of minors, defined the rights of parents and the conditions for emancipation of minors. This statute may be found at MCL 722.1 et seq; MSA 25.244(1) et seq. Emancipation is defined as the "termination of the rights of the parents to the custody, control, services and earnings of a minor." A minor is defined as "a person under the age of 18 years."
The statute provides that, unless otherwise directed by a court, the parents of an unemancipated minor are equally entitled to the custody, control, services and earnings of the minor. However, if 1 parent provides, to the exclusion of the other parent, for the maintenance and support of the minor, that parent has the paramount right to control the services and earnings of the minor.
The statute provides that the earnings of an employed unemancipated minor may be paid directly to the minor, unless the parents or guardian(s) of the minor give notice to the employer that future payments should be made to the parents or guardian(s).
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The statute also provides that parents are jointly and individually responsible for supporting a minor unless a court of competent jurisdiction modifies or terminates the responsibility or the minor is emancipated by operation of law. The procedure for enforcing this duty of support through an action for enforcement brought in the circuit court in the county where the minor resides is outlined in the statute.
In Michigan, there are 4 ways a minor can be emancipated without a court order. These are referred to as "emancipation by operation of law." A minor is automatically emancipated:
1) when validly married;
2) when reaching the age of 18 years;
3) during the period when the minor is on active duty with the armed forces; and
4) for the purposes of consenting to routine, nonsurgical medical care or emergency medical treatment when the minor is in the custody of a law enforcement agency and the minor's parent or guardian cannot be promptly located. This last emancipation ends upon the termination of medical care or treatment or upon the minor's release from custody, whichever occurs first.
Legislation revising the procedures by which a minor may be emancipated was passed in 1988 and became effective in 1989.
One of the more significant changes contained in the revision is that parents may no longer emancipate a minor simply by filing a written document with the county clerk. Under the new law, a petition, signed by the minor rather than the parents, must be filed in the probate court where the minor resides. (Webmaster Note: The petition is now filed in the family division of the circuit court for the county in which the minor resides)
The new law also requires the minor to include certain information showing that s/he has demonstrated the ability to manage his or her financial affairs, including proof of employment or other means of support. The statute specifically excludes general assistance or aid to families with dependent children from being considered as "other means of support." The minor must also demonstrate the ability to manage his or her personal and social affairs.
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The petition must also include an affidavit from an adult with personal knowledge of the minor's circumstances who believes that emancipation is in the best interest of the minor. The list of individuals who can file the affidavit concerning the minor's circumstances is contained in the statute.
Once the petition is filed, the court may assign a staff member to investigate the allegations of the petition and file a report with the court. The court may also appoint legal counsel for the minor or for the minor's parents or guardian(s) if they are indigent and oppose the petition. The court may also dismiss the petition if the minor's custodial parent is providing support to the minor and does not consent to the emancipation.
Prior to the hearing, the parents or guardian(s) must be served with a copy of the petition and a summons to appear. Notice of the hearing must also be furnished to the person who signed the affidavit in support of the minor's petition for emancipation.
If the evidence provided at the hearing convinces the court that the minor has the ability to manage his/her financial, personal and social affairs and that emancipation is in the minor's best interest, the court may order emancipation.
An emancipated minor is 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 him or her because of his or her age. The statute lists the following areas where the minor shall be considered emancipated, but the statute also indicates that emancipation is not limited to these areas:
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(a) The right to enter into enforceable contracts, including apartment leases.
(b) The right to sue or be sued in his or her own name.
(c) The right to retain his or her own earnings.
(d) The right to establish a separate domicile.
(e) The right to act autonomously, 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.
(f) The right to earn a living, subject only to the health and safety regulations designed to protect those under the age of majority regardless of their legal status.
(g) The right to authorize his or her own preventive health care, medical care, dental care and mental health care, without parental knowledge or liability.
(h) The right to apply for a driver's license or other state licenses for which s/he might be eligible.
(i) The right to register for school.
(j) The right to marry.
(k) The right to apply to the medical assistance program administered under the social welfare act, if needed.
(l) The right to apply for other welfare assistance, if needed.
(m) The right, if a parent, to make decisions and give authority in caring for his or her own minor child.
(n) The right to make a will.
Emancipation is not necessarily permanent. If circumstances change, the minor or the minor's parents may petition the court to rescind the emancipation.
It is important to note that the parents of a minor emancipated by a court order are still jointly and individually obligated to support the minor. The parents of a minor emancipated by court order, however, are not liable for any debts incurred by the minor during the period of emancipation.
Answered By: wizjp - 5/1/2008