The bill permits the issuance of a marriage license only to a person who is 18 years of age, unless the person is at least 16.5 years of age and emancipated through a court procedure.
The bill creates a statutory procedure for the emancipation of minors. The court may issue an order for emancipation if the minor has attained 16.5 years of age at the time the order becomes effective, the order is in the minor's best interests, and the court determines that the minor has met the statutory requirements for emancipation, including but not limited to the ability to support himself or herself and to manage his or her own affairs.
The court shall provide a minor with information about rights and responsibilities of emancipation and alternatives to emancipation and shall appoint an attorney to serve as guardian ad litem for the minor to investigate and report on the statutory criteria and the minor's best interests.
The bill includes provisions relating to who may file a petition for an order of emancipation, the contents of the petition, and the hearing procedure and necessary court findings.
As a result of the statutory procedure, an emancipated minor is considered to be 18 years of age and shall have all of the rights and responsibilities of a person who is 18 years of age; except that an emancipated minor is still subject to age restrictions relating to voting and possession of tobacco products.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)