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Marriage or Emancipation of Minor

Marriage of Minor Investigation

If one or two minors wish to marry prior to reaching the age of 18, they must participate in an investigation through Family Court Services and have the investigator write a report in support of the marriage to get permission from the court for getting a marriage license. There is no fee for the investigation.

  • Law requires that Family Court Services investigate (FC 302-304) any marriage in which one or both parties are minors, UNLESS:
    • The MINOR requesting to Marry, or Establish a Domestic Partnership is age 17
    • AND has a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate
  • The Marriage of a Minor automatically emancipates the minor
  • The Court Process is as follows:
    • The Petitioner(s)/Minor(s) file FL-910, Request of Minor to Marry or Establish a Domestic Partnership; FL-912, Consent for Minor to Marry or Establish a Domestic Partnership; and FL-915, Order and Notices to Minor on Request to Marry or Establish a Domestic Partnership.
    • Petitioner(s) are given Family Court Services’ Marriage of Minor Questionnaire to complete by a Court Clerk or on the Court Website.
    • Once the Questionnaire is submitted, Family Court Services sets appointment(s) to SEPARATELY interview the parties.
  • Family Court Services Investigates using a review of:
    • Completed questionnaire
    • Certified copy of birth certificate of each party requesting to marry/establish partnership
    • Two types of picture I.D. (i.e., driver’s license, passport, student I.D., bank card, etc.) for each party requesting to marry/establish partnership
    • Notarized consent from at least one parent or legal guardian for (each) minor
    • If employed, a letter from each party’s employer regarding salary, work habits, and time employed
    • A letter from any pre-marital counselor verifying number of sessions attended and general content of the sessions
    • Copies of any court order placing the minor in the guardianship of an adult
    • Copies of any court order granting one of the minor(s)’ parents Sole Legal Custody
    • Copies of any court order placing the minor(s) as a ward of the court/juvenile dependent
    • Proof of a Positive Pregnancy from a licensed medical facility/doctor
  • And separate interviews of:
    • The minor requesting to Marry/Establish a Domestic Partnership
    • The party to whom the minor is requesting to Marry/Establish a Domestic Partnership
    • All parents of each minor wishing to marry, unless a parent has been absent in the minor(s)’ life for more than one year
    • (Optional) Parent(s) of a non-minor party of the case
  • Family Court Services Professional prepares and submits a report
  • Judicial Officer:
    • Reviews Family Court Services Report
    • Interviews each party separately & privately
    • Can order parties to attend counseling
    • Grants Order Permitting Marriage or Domestic Partnership
  • Parties then obtain certified copies of their order
  • Parties wait 30 days before filing to get a marriage license or declaration of domestic partnership

Emancipation of Minor Investigation

When a minor wishes to emancipate (declare themselves free of the control of their legal caregiver[s]) they may be ordered to participate in an investigation through Family Court Services that will determine if their petition is reasonable.  There is no fee for the investigation at this time.

  • When a person under the age of 18 wishes to be declared a legal adult, they must seek a court order FC 7000-7002, 7050, and 7120-7123
  • For the process to begin, the Minor submits EM-100, Petition for Declaration of Emancipation of Minor
  • The Minor attaches EM-115, Declaration of Income and Expense, EM-109, Notice of Hearing, and EM-130, Declaration of Emancipation of Minor After Hearing
  • The clerk sets the Emancipation Petition Hearing
  • The Judicial Officer hearing the matter:
    • Has discretion to order an investigation of the petition, or a focused evaluation of a portion of the case
    • Must determine if the minor meets the qualifications to be legally declared an adult
  • If an Investigation is ordered, the Petitioner will receive an Emancipation Packet from a Court Clerk or Family Court Services by email or in person
  • The Minor must complete the packet and contact Family Court Services to submit the finished packet and set an Investigation appointment
  • Family Court Services meets with the minor, interviews others, and reviews the case and any additional documentation that would verify:
    • The minor lives apart from their parents or guardians
    • The minor can manage their own finances
    • The minor can support themselves legally
    • It is in the best interest of the minor
  • The Family Court Services Emancipation Investigation Report is provided to Petitioner and Court 10 days prior to a Court Hearing where a Judicial Officer will determine if the Emancipation is granted

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