Legal Question in Family Law in New Mexico

In trying to go to an early college...

I've applied to a United World College in New Mexico (which requires a two-year contract of attendance) that starts 1 month before I turn 18. Since my parents have refused to let me go if I get accepted, is there a legal way to move out, out of Texas and without parental consent, before I turn 18, especially since it will be to a school offering a full-ride scholarship? Can I also legally sign the contract at 17 years old?

Asked on 1/26/09, 7:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

George Chandler Chandler Law of Los Alamos
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Re: In trying to go to an early college...

You would ave to get "emancipated" in New Mexico,which requires a petition to a New Mexico court for a declaration of emancipation under the Emancipation of Minors Act NMSA 32A-21. The you can sign a contract, regiser for school, etc. The act does not require you be a resident of New Mexico, although there may be some other provision I don't know about that does. Getting a declaration would take a while, and your parents could oppose it. Texas probably has a similar provision but if you're gong to school in NM you prabably need it in NM.

I would suggest you work at convincing your parents rather than trying to ride over them. Two years at UWC ought to give you entree to a lot of college scholarship possibilities. Show your parents how much you can save them by improving your scholarship potential. I can't believe they would block you. Keep working on them - promise you'll go to college where they want if they'll let you do this. Good luck.

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Answered on 1/27/09, 2:09 pm

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