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GeorgetownLawyr, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12049
Experience:  Experience: contested Divorces, custody disputes, Post dissolution modification, child support issues, adopti
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In New Mexico, can a 17 year old boy leave his home to live

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In New Mexico, can a 17 year old boy leave his home to live with the family of his best friend?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be helping you resolve your matter.

Please remember there may be a delay as I may be helping other customers.

before we proceed I need to know if the person asking this question here is over age 18?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes. I am over 18. In fact, I'm 57 and am asking this question on behalf of the best friend's family.
Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.
Ok, great...I just needed to make sure you were over 18 because we cannot communicate with minors on this the parents and parents of the best friend agree with his leaving home??
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The parents of the best friend would like to help him in any way they can, taking him in as if he was a member of the family. The boy's parents have not agreed to allow him to live with the best friend's family full time, but have allowed him to be there for the past month. The boy's parents are wrestling with emotional issues and the mother is bipolar (and an alcoholic) who has deferred everything to the boy's father (saying she has "enough on her plate" with possible divorce and a current depressive episode. There have been at least two CYFD reports on the family in relation to the boy, and no follow through. The boy moved to his best friend's house because of a physical altercation with his father, which was reported.
Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.
Ok, thanks. If the parents of the best friend want to help him then they should help him file for emancipation from his parents and then he can be in control of where he lives and his life decisions in general. In NM he just has to be age 16 to file or emancipation. Here is the statute from NM:

32A-21-3. Emancipated minors; description.

An emancipated minor is any person sixteen years of age or older who:

A. has entered into a valid marriage, whether or not the marriage was terminated by dissolution;

B. is on active duty with any of the armed forces of the United States of America; or

C. has received a declaration of emancipation pursuant to the Emancipation of Minors Act [32A-21-1 NMSA 1978].

32A-21-7. Declaration of Emancipation; petition; contents; notice; mandate.

A. A minor may petition the children's court of the district in which he resides for a declaration of emancipation as described in the Emancipation of Minors Act [32A-21-1 NMSA 1978]. The petition shall be verified and shall set forth with specificity the facts bringing the minor within the provisions of the Emancipation of Minors Act.

B. Before the petition is heard, notice shall be given to the minor's parents, guardian or custodian in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts [1-001 NMRA].

C. If the court finds that the minor is sixteen years of age or older and is a person described under Section 48 [32A-21-2 NMSA 1978] of this act, the court may grant the petition unless, after having considered all of the evidence introduced at the hearing, it finds that granting the petition would be contrary to the best interests of the minor.

D. If the petition is sustained, the court shall immediately issue a declaration of emancipation containing specific findings of fact and one or more purposes of the emancipation, which shall be filed by the county clerk.

E. If the petition is denied, the minor has a right to file a petition for a writ of mandamus.

F. If the petition is sustained, the parents, guardian or custodian of the minor has a right to file a petition for a writ of mandamus if he appeared in the proceeding and opposed the granting of the petition.

G. A declaration of emancipation granted in accordance with the Emancipation of Minors Act shall be conclusive evidence that the minor is emancipated.


So as you can see from the statute he has to petition the court for emancipation and the parents must be served with notice of the petition. There will be a hearing and he has to show why it is in his best interests to be emancipated, which based on what you have told me should be pretty easy. They can go to the family division of the local court and purchase the petition packet and help him fill it out and file it to begin the process. That is what I would recommend because if the parents then decide to bring him back home, he will have no legal ability to resist. I hope this helps.


Thank you for allowing me to assist you. As you know, we work on the honor system here and cannot always provide you answers that you like. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work (as you would like to receive credit for your work). Positive feedback is also appreciated, if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is not required. I believe in giving information that is to the point, but please remember that I can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions or for clarifications. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice. If you specifically want me to answer a future question put “FOR GEORGETOWN LAWYER” in the subject line and I will reply asap.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How much does it usually cost for a child to petition the court? Should he hire a lawyer (or should the parents of the best friend)? Also, if the child is granted emancipation, can his parents help provide financial assistance to cover food and clothing to the family of the best friend?
Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 6 years ago.
You would have to check with the local court to see how much filing the petition costs..normally a few hundred dollars. If the parents of the friend are helping and they can afford to help him get a lawyer, he should definitely have one. If he is emancipated it means he is now an adult in charge of his own life and decisions therefore the parents are no longer financially responsible for him. He can't have total independence but rely on the parents financially, it's all or nothing. If the parents of the best friend are truly trying to help then they have to be prepared to take on the financial responsibility of this child just like their own. I hope that clarifies. I would appreciate if you click ACCEPT so that I may receive a small part of your deposit for my time and answers. I'm still happy to reply to your follow up even after you give credit. Thank you and kind regards.
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