What is Emancipation?

The idea of emancipation arises in two contexts under New Mexico law. First, a child who has reached the age of 16 and who is living on their own and can prove that they are capable of supporting themselves can be emancipated from their parents. There is a statute on this in New Mexico where a lawsuit must be filed and the court must determine if it’s in the best interests of the child to be emancipated. If so, then they are granted an order of emancipation. The second context in which emancipation arises is in the context of custody and child support issues. Whenever a child turns 18 he/she is no longer a child under the law. This is generally true when it comes to custody. However, as it pertains to child support it’s a bit more murky as to when a child is emancipated. Under NM law, a child is emancipated for child support purposes when the child turns 18 and has graduated high school. However, if the child is still in high school then the child support continues until the child turns 19 or graduates high school, whichever occurs first. As one can see the rules on emancipation can be tricky but have significant impact on a parent’s rights. To learn more about custody rights contact our custody experts at info@JusticeLegalGroup.com or call us at 505-880-8737.