Family Law: Emancipation of a Minor

Kirbo Law Firm is a family owned and operated law firm, with decades of experience supporting family law and personal injury cases in Moultrie, GA. Although emancipation cases aren’t as frequent as car accidents and divorces, it’s a subject matter we take seriously. If you or a family member are considering pursuing emancipation, you should learn about the basics before making any decisions. Our Moultrie attorneys and legal aides have organized a couple of key points to educate you on what to expect and why below:

What is emancipation?

A minor who has been emancipated receives the responsibilities of an adult before the age of 18. Once a minor has gone through the process of emancipation, the parent(s) no longer has a legal tie to the minor’s livelihood. This being said, the minor now has the ability to live separately, make his or her own healthcare choices, and obtain full earnings from a job position.

The emancipation process can go one of three routes: the minor is married through parental consent, the minor receives permission from a court, or the minors joins the armed forces. Our Moultrie Family Lawyers can provide legal advice that would help determine the best option for the minor or parent(s).

To receive emancipation through marriage, the minor must abide by state requirements, have consent from the parent(s), and appear before a court – which typically requires the support of an attorney or experienced family law firm.

What is the process for emancipation?

To receive emancipation through a court’s permission the minor must be at least 16 years of age, with the exception of California in which the minimum age is 14. Through this process the court takes into consideration certain factors such as:

  • Financial independence/stability
  • Whether or not the minor has a GED or high school diploma
  • If the minor is living separately from the parents or has made arrangements

If the court determines the minor meets the above qualifications, he or she is then granted emancipation. Moultrie Family Lawyers is here to help you through this process in court.

Emancipation through military enlistment requires a GED or high school diploma from the minor at which point they may become emancipated. Once a minor has become emancipated they acquire the rights to purchase real estate, receive a work permit upon application, make medical choices regarding healthcare e.g. abortion or birth control matters, and go to the school of his or her choosing.

Emancipated minors do not have the right to discontinue their education, buy or consumer alcohol, get married without consent of the parent(s), and vote before the legal age of 18.

The process of emancipation can be a difficult road to navigate without the proper legal guidance. At Kirbo Law Firm we are dedicated to helping you find the best solution for your situation. Contact us today to speak with one of our Moultrie Family Lawyers about your legal needs.

 

Sources

Court Room Image

Signing Papers Image 

Healthcare Image 

Fam Law: Child Custody and Support

If you’re looking for resources about child custody cases, chances are you’re looking for answers, support and guidance from a great family law attorney. Our dedicated Moultrie legal team at Kirbo Law Firm have organized a good amount of info to help guide you through this tough time. We know how important family is, and the need to protect your children. Take the time to research and read everything you can so you know what to expect as you move through this difficult time. We can start with the basics.

The Different Types of Custody

Physical and Legal Custody

Physical custody is generally given to one parent whose child lives with them full time. Legal custody is shared with the non-custodial parent in which both parents have the right to make decisions about the child’s education, religion,health care

Sole Custody

This occurs when a parent gets full custody of their child, this occurs most often when the other parent is abusive or absent.

Joint Custody

Joint Custody is when a child spends equal or almost equal amount of time with both parents. Joint custody is the cause of some controversy and is only allowed if both parents can cooperate and make joint decisions in the child’s best interest.

Split Custody

Split custody occurs in the instance of several children in which one parent has physical custody of some of the children and the other parent has physical custody of the others. This is generally considered an unfavorable option.

Unmarried Parents

If the parents are not married, the mother wins custody unless the father takes additional measures to be granted custody.

Factors in deciding custody

  1. What the child wants, depending on his/her age and maturity
  2. Age and sex of the child
  3. Health of the parents
  4. Relationship with others who reside in the house
  5. Stable home environment
  6. Any evidence of parental drug, sex, emotional, or alcohol abuse

Responsibilities of the Custodial parent

  1. Keeping the child in good hygiene
  2. Teaching them basic necessities. For example, walking, talking, reading, writing,
  3. Feeding the Child
  4. Purchasing clothes and laundry responsibilities;
  5. Making sure the child has healthcare
  6. Buying clothing for the child

Custody Laws

If you’re wondering how you can get custody of your child, you will most likely have to go to court. Of course, parents are able to make the decision if they can come to a mutual agreement. Although if someone changes their mind, it’s much harder to enforce the decision made. Going to court is the safest option if you want your custody written. However, each state has their own laws regarding custody and those should be reviewed first. Check out thebalance.com and see their guide to each state’s laws.

“Alabama. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,

Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,

Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,

Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina,

North Dakota, Ohio,Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,

South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington,

Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming”

What If I want to move away with my child?

  1. Firstly, the court needs to decide if the relocation would be in the best interest of the child. If they decide it’s not, you might have to stay.
  2. While first getting child custody, it’s helpful to create some kind of agreement than that if the desire to relocate comes up, it’s already agreed upon with visitation schedules already planned out.
  3. In some states, you as the custodial parent are required to give written notice of the intention to move to the noncustodial parent 30 days before the move. In this notice should be information regarding the new living situation. In some states, the non-custodial parent needs to agree to the move, if they don’t agree they can file a motion to stop the relocation. However, if they don’t respond within the 30 days, you are able to move.

If the non-custodial parent objects, it may go to court and there are several factors determining if you are able to move.

  1. Distance from your original location can change the outcome of your move.
  2. Proof that the move is happening because of good intentions, and not to spite your ex. Ways to show this are:
    1. New job
    2. Family lives near the new residence
    3. It’s more affordable
    4. Education system is better for the child.
    5. It’s in the child’s best interest
  1. A proposed visitation schedule is required by most states. Usually the child will see the non-custodial parent over holidays and breaks from school. Having a schedule ahead of time may help your case.
  2. In regards to the money it takes to travel the child between parents, if you are the parent moving away, you will most likely have to be okay with paying the majority of those costs. If you are, make that known in court.

To talk to a child custody attorney about getting custody or moving away, contact us here at Kirbo Law Firm located in Moultrie, Georgia.

Child Support

Child Support comes in once custody is assigned. Usually the non-custodial parent will have to give a portion of their income to the custodial parent as child support.

How is it determined?

Usually, child support is issued by family court. They create a number to be paid based on several factors

  1. Payers income and cost of living
  2. Decrease in custodial parent’s income
  3. Child support already being paid from a previous marriage
  4. If the non-custodial parent is already paying child support to a previous marriage
  5. Increase in child’s needs
  6. How many children there are
  7. What health insurance costs
  8. If a parent has to pay union dues

However, there are different guidelines for Child Support by state. Check out the National Conference of State Legislatures guide to those guidelines.

How do I get Child Support?

  1. First, you must be the custodial parent.
  2. Then you should go to court to get a Child Support Order.
  3. In the case of a Joint-Custody. If during the marriage one spouse made a significant amount more than the other, they may have to pay some child support to the parent making less.
  4. Hire your own attorney to help figure out how you will get paid and how much. You can speak to one here. Usually child support enforcement agencies and the court will work together to create a child support system. Child Support will ultimately be issued by family court.

I’m not getting the Child Support I’m owed, What do I do?

  1. Contact Kirbo Law Firm, your Moultrie Attorney. Child Support is usually court-ordered, and they will have to pay. However, if it still persists to be a problem, the court can take more drastic measures. In some states, the parent who isn’t paying child support can have their wages withheld. If it continues, several other actions may be taken, such as the jail time, seizure of property, interception of tax refunds, freezing bank accounts, suspension of driver’s license, and more.
  2. If the non-custodial parents lives out of state, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act enforces them to still pay child support. Child Support Orders may be sent to the non-custodial parents employer who can take the money out of the paycheck. It is illegal for a parent to refuse to pay child support
  3. If the non-custodial parent seems to have disappeared, you can hire someone from the Office of Child Support Enforcement to try to locate them here. There are several pieces of information of the non-custodial parent to have on record in this event
    1. SSN
    2. Noncustodial parents friends, family, employers, coworkers
    3. Financial references
    4. Copy of the Child Support Order
    5. Police, parole, or probation records
    6. Non-Custodial parents past addresses
    7. Childs Birth certificate
  4. The NCSEA released a list of different states child support enforcement agencies that can help.

To get more information on obtaining child custody or child support, you can speak to one of our family Law Attorneys here at Kirbo Law Firm, located in Moultrie, Georgia.

Phone: (229) 985-1955   Fax: (229) 890-2487

Sources:

Mom & Child Image

Child Custody Image

Money Image

Pay Image

Types of Custody Resource

Deciding Factors Resource

Additional Resource

Family Law

What Exactly Is Family Law?

The term “Family Law” sounds pretty broad. In it’s simplest definition, Family Law “deals with family-related issues and domestic relations” Most commonly, this is associated with issues relating to divorce and child custody. However, divorce is more a subset of family law, and there are many other fields and issues involved in it. So, what is covered by a Moultrie attorney that works in family law?

Marriage:

You already know divorce requires a divorce lawyer, but maybe you haven’t considered what work goes into the marriage in the first place. The main ways family law deals with marriage are:

  1. Marriage License
  2. Who Owns What?
  3. Prenuptial (Agreements about property, finances, and almost anything you can think of made before a marriage)
  4. Same Sex Marriage laws
  5. Age of Consent

In regards to the first three subjects, it would definitely be helpful to have a Moultrie Family Law Attorneys help.

Divorce and Alimony:

Getting divorced almost always involves divorce attorneys and divorce lawyers. For more information about what goes into a divorce, check out our other blog post here. Alimony is another subject related to divorce. Alimony occurs when one spouse is required to financially support the other spouse after a divorce takes place. This again, takes a lawyer of family law to handle.

Child Support & Custody:

Family lawyers and the court are involved in the calculating how much child support is owed, college expenses, medical expenses, and other financial decisions. They also are involved in deciding where the child will primarily reside. They try to make these decisions based on the best interest of the children regarding living arrangement and financial support.

Adoption & Fostering:

Our Moultrie family lawyers come into play here by guiding clients through the adoption process and determining if someone has the eligibility to adopt. Fostercare is even more complicated with the many issues foster children face. They have to determine foster parents want to foster for the right reasons and will be taken care of in their foster home.

Marital Property:

Marital Property goes hand in hand with marriage and divorce, and even the death of a spouse. Our Moultrie family lawyers deal with who owns what if one of these events occur.

Emancipation:

Emancipation laws are set in place to help determine if a child is mature enough to live apart from their parents and to be independent. Family law helped establish the rights and privileges of a child who is successfully emancipated; such as the ability to enter into contracts and leases, keep money earned, get married, agree to medical treatments, and more. These rights can vary by state. A minor must file a petition with the court to begin this process.

Parental Rights:

Parental Rights range from liability of a parent’s child to the termination of rights for their child. Family Law makes parents responsible for non criminal yet malicious activity and damage done by their children. In regards to termination, the grounds for it may be found here. These rules were set in an effort to protect children. Of course a lawful proceeding by an attorney needs to take place before rights are terminated.

Paternity:

Paternity must be established sometime after the child is born, but if it’s not soon after it can lead to some complications. For example, if an absentee father leaves his hometown of Moultrie, Georgia, and then years later decides he wants to come back into his child’s life, he has to try to establish paternity first to have rights to the child. Other times, a man may want to challenge his own paternity to see if the child is really his. If a husband and wife have a child, the husband is presumed to be the father, but in the case of infidelity, he can challenge his rights to his child.

Domestic & Child Abuse:

Cases like these are handled in a criminal court but also involve family law intervention as well. Family Law deals specifically with laws by state defining what child abuse is and laws regarding reporting possible abuse cases. There is a list of people who are required by law to report suspicion of abuse.

Reproductive Rights:

Reproductive Rights revolve around an individuals right to reproduce and maintain good reproductive health. Laws regarding birth control, abortion, artificial insemination, and others are in this category and are regulated on state level and change quite frequently. Family Law also involves the distribution of reproductive information in schools.

We’re Here To Help

Here at Kirbo Law Firm, we’re dedicated to protecting your rights. Any one of these issues is sensitive, if you’re going through one of them  you deserve strong representation and a firm that cares. Contact our Moultrie Family Lawyers today if you’re in need of help.

Sources
Marriage Hands Image
Family Image
Gavel Image
Family Outline Image
Moultrie Lawyers Image