Article 1 in general 141101. Age of majority; rights on emancipation




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TITLE 14

CHILDREN
CHAPTER 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS
ARTICLE 1

IN GENERAL


141101.  Age of majority; rights on emancipation.
(a)  Upon becoming eighteen (18) years of age, an individual reaches the age of majority and as an adult acquires all rights and responsibilities granted or imposed by statute or common law, except as otherwise provided by law.
(b)  A minor may consent to health care treatment to the same extent as if he were an adult when any one (1) or more of the following circumstances apply:
(i)  The minor is or was legally married;
(ii)  The minor is in the active military service of the United States;
(iii)  The parents or guardian of the minor cannot with reasonable diligence be located and the minor's need for health care treatment is sufficiently urgent to require immediate attention;
(iv)  The minor is living apart from his parents or guardian and is managing his own affairs regardless of his source of income;
(v)  The minor is emancipated under W.S. 141201 through 141206;
(vi)  The minor is twelve (12) years of age or older, is a smoker or user of tobacco products and the health care to which the minor consents is a tobacco cessation program approved by the department of health pursuant to W.S. 941204.
(c)  The consent given pursuant to subsection (b) of this section is not subject to disaffirmance because of minority.
(d)  Any competent adult may enter into a binding contract and shall be legally responsible therefor.
(e)  A person who is at least eighteen (18) years of age may consent to donate and may donate blood.
ARTICLE 2

EMANCIPATION OF MINORS


141201.  Definitions.
(a)  As used in this article:
(i)  "Emancipation" means conferral of certain rights of majority upon a minor as provided under this article and includes a minor who:
(A)  Is or was married;
(B)  Is in the military service of the United States; or
(C)  Has received a declaration of emancipation pursuant to W.S. 141203.
(ii)  "Minor" means an individual under the age of majority defined by W.S. 141101(a);
(iii)  "Parent" means the legal guardian or custodian of the minor, his natural parent or if the minor has been legally adopted, the adoptive parent;
(iv)  "This act" means W.S. 141201 through 141206.
141202.  Application for emancipation decree; effect of decree.
(a)  Upon written application of a minor under jurisdiction of the court and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a district court may enter a decree of emancipation in accordance with this act. In addition to W.S. 141101(b), the decree shall only:
(i)  Recognize the minor as an adult for purposes of:
(A)  Entering into a binding contract;
(B)  Suing and being sued;
(C)  Buying or selling real property;
(D)  Establishing a residence;
(E)  The criminal laws of this state.
(ii)  Terminate parental support and control of the child and their rights to his income;
(iii)  Terminate parental tort liability for the minor.
141203.  Application for emancipation decree; hearing; notice; rights and liabilities of emancipated minor; conditions for issuance of decree; filing of decree; copy to applicant.
(a)  Upon written application of a minor subject to personal jurisdiction of the court, a district court may enter a decree of emancipation in accordance with this act. The application shall be verified and shall set forth with specificity all of the following facts:
(i)  That he is at least seventeen (17) years of age;
(ii)  That he willingly lives separate and apart from his parents;
(iii)  That his parents consent to or acquiesce in the separate living arrangement;
(iv)  That he is managing his own financial affairs; and
(v)  That the source of his income is not derived from means declared unlawful under state or federal law or from assistance received under W.S. 422104.
(b)  The district court shall conduct a hearing on the minor's application for emancipation within sixty (60) days after the date of filing. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the minor and his parents by certified mail at least ten (10) days before the date set for hearing.
(c)  At the hearing, the court shall advise the minor of the effect of emancipation pursuant to W.S. 141202. These rights and liabilities shall be stated in the emancipation decree.
(d)  The court may enter a decree of emancipation if the minor is at least seventeen (17) years of age and the court finds emancipation is in the best interests of the minor. In making a determination, the court shall consider if the:
(i)  Minor's parents consent to the proposed emancipation;
(ii)  Minor is living or is willing to live apart from his parents and is substantially able to provide selfmaintenance and support without parental guidance and supervision;
(iii)  Minor demonstrates he is sufficiently mature and knowledgeable to manage his personal affairs without parental assistance; and
(iv)  Source of the minor's income is not derived from means declared unlawful under state or federal law.
(e)  Upon entry of a decree of emancipation, the court shall file the decree with the county clerk of the county in which the child resides. A copy of the decree shall be issued to the minor.
(f)  A declaration of emancipation shall be conclusive evidence that the minor is emancipated, but emancipation may also be proved by other evidence like any other fact.
141204.  Third party application; procedure.
(a)  Any interested third party having dealings with an apparently emancipated minor may apply to the district court where that minor is domiciled or may be found for a declaration of emancipation.
(b)  The application under this section shall be made in conformity with W.S. 141203(a).
(c)  Proceedings under this section shall be conducted in conformity with the requirements of W.S. 141203.
141205.  Application to department of transportation for emancipated status on driver's license; fee.
(a)  Upon application of an emancipated minor, the department of transportation shall indicate the minor's emancipated status on his Wyoming driver's license or if without a driver's license, on the minor's Wyoming identification card issued under W.S. 318101.
(b)  An applicant under this section shall pay two dollars ($2.00) to the division. The department of transportation shall deposit the fees in the manner prescribed by law for driver's license and identification card fees and submit receipt and acknowledgement to the state treasurer.
141206.  Emancipated minor subject to adult criminal jurisdiction.
An emancipated minor is subject to jurisdiction of adult courts for all criminal offenses.
CHAPTER 2

PARENTS
ARTICLE 1

PARENTAGE; PATERNITY ACTIONS
142101.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142102.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142103.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142104.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142105.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142106.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142107.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142108.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142109.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142110.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142111.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142112.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142113.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142114.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142115.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142116.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142117.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142118.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142119.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
142120.  Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
ARTICLE 2

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS


142201.  Maintenance and education of minor out of income from own property.
Any minor having a living parent and owning property with income sufficient for his maintenance and education in a manner more expensive than his parent can reasonably afford, regard given to the situation of the parent's family and to all circumstances of the case, the expenses of the minor's education and maintenance may be defrayed out of the income of the minor's own property in whole or in part, as judged reasonable and as directed by the court. The charges for maintenance and education may be allowed accordingly in the settlements of the accounts of the minor's guardian.
142202.  Payment or delivery to parent of minor's estate not exceeding $3,000; duty of parent.
(a)  Money or other property not exceeding three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) in value belonging to a minor having no guardian of his estate may be paid or delivered to a parent entitled to the custody of the minor to hold for the minor, upon written assurance verified by the oath of the parent that the total estate of the minor does not exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) in value. The written receipt of the parent shall be an acquittance of the person making the payment or delivery of money or other property.
(b)  It is the duty of the parent to apply the funds received to the use and benefit of the minor.
142203.  Parental tort liability for property damage of certain minors; exception; action cumulative.
(a)  Any property owner is entitled to recover damages from the parents of any minor under the age of seventeen (17) years and over the age of ten (10) years who maliciously and willfully damages or destroys his property. The recovery is limited to the actual damages in an amount not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) in addition to taxable court costs. This section does not apply to parents whose parental custody and control of the child had been terminated by court order prior to the destructive act.
(b)  The action authorized in subsection (a) of this section is in addition to all other actions which the owner is entitled to maintain and nothing in this section precludes recovery in a greater amount from the minor, parents or any person for damages for which the minor or other person would otherwise be liable. The purpose of this section is to authorize recovery from parents in situations where they would not otherwise be liable.
142204.  Liability for support; right of action; venue; service; measure of recovery; remedies cumulative; execution; continuing jurisdiction; notice.
(a)  Any person legally responsible for the support of a child who abandons, deserts, neglects or unjustifiably fails to support the child is liable for support of the child. It is no defense that the child was not or is not in destitute circumstances. For purposes of this section, a parent's legal obligation for the support of his or her children, whether natural or adopted, continues past the age of majority in cases where the children are:
(i)  Mentally or physically disabled and thereby incapable of self support; or
(ii)  Repealed By Laws 2000, Ch. 1, § 2.
(iii)  Between the age of majority and twenty (20) years and attending high school or an equivalent program as fulltime participants.
(b)  Either of the parents of the child, the department of family services or any other person, agency or institution furnishing the physical care or support of the child may commence civil action for past and future child and medical support.
(c)  The petition or complaint shall be filed in the district court of the county where the defendant resides, is found or has assets subject to attachment or execution. Service of process shall be as provided by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure.
(d)  The measure of recovery from the defendant is the reasonable value of the care or support, including medical support furnished to the child by the petitioner and the child support ordered pursuant to W.S. 202303 through 202305, 202307 and 202311. In addition, the court may make other suitable order for future care or support of the child. These remedies are cumulative and in addition to other remedies provided by law. Payments of future support shall be paid to the clerk of the district court.
(e)  Repealed By Laws 2000, Ch. 1, § 2.
(f)  Repealed By Laws 2000, Ch. 1, § 2.
142205.  Presence of parent, custodian or guardian at hearings; failure to appear; issuance of bench warrant.
(a)  It is the responsibility of one (1) or both parents, and the guardian or custodian of an unemancipated minor, if applicable, to appear with the minor before any court of this state in any proceeding in which the minor is required to appear and is alleged to have committed a criminal offense or to have violated a municipal ordinance. It shall be the responsibility of the court to afford any parent, guardian or custodian appearing with a minor pursuant to this subsection a reasonable opportunity to address the court.
(b)  In any proceeding in juvenile court, attendance of one or both parents, and the guardian or custodian of the minor, if applicable, shall be compelled as provided by W.S. 146215.
(c)  In a proceeding in a court other than the juvenile court, the presiding judge may require the presence of one or both parents, and the guardian or custodian of the minor, if applicable, at any hearing by causing an order to appear to be served in the manner provided by W.S. 146214.
(d)  Any person served with an order to appear under subsection (c) of this section who without reasonable cause fails to appear, is liable for contempt of court and the court may issue a bench warrant to cause the person to be brought before the court.
ARTICLE 3

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS


142301.  Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 102, § 2.
142302.  Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 102, § 2.
142303.  Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 102, § 2.
142304.  Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 102, § 2.
142305.  Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 102, § 2.
142306.  Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 102, § 2.
142307.  Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 102, § 2.
142308.  Definitions.
(a)  As used in this act:
(i)  "Abuse" means as defined by W.S. 143202(a)(ii);
(ii)  "Authorized agency" means:
(A)  A public social service agency authorized to care for and place children; or
(B)  A private child welfare agency certified by the state for such purposes pursuant to W.S. 146201 through 146243, 144101 through 144116, 122101 through 122114;
(iii)  "Child" or "minor" means an individual who is under the age of majority;
(iv)  "Court" means the district court in the district where the child resides or is found or the district court which has previously retained jurisdiction of the child because of a previous order entered by that court;
(v)  "Mental health professional" means a person with an advanced degree in one of the behavioral sciences including a psychologist, social worker or clinical counselor;
(vi)  "Neglect" means as defined by W.S. 143202(a)(vii);
(vii)  "Parent" means a natural parent or a parent by adoption;
(viii)  "Indigent party" means a person whose financial resources and income are insufficient to enable him to pay the reasonable fees and expenses of an attorney licensed to practice in this state;
(ix)  "This act" means W.S. 142308 through 142319.
142309.  Grounds for termination of parent-child relationship; clear and convincing evidence.
(a)  The parentchild legal relationship may be terminated if any one (1) or more of the following facts is established by clear and convincing evidence:
(i)  The child has been left in the care of another person without provision for the child's support and without communication from the absent parent for a period of at least one (1) year. In making the above determination, the court may disregard occasional contributions, or incidental contacts and communications. For purposes of this paragraph, a court order of custody shall not preclude a finding that a child has been left in the care of another person;
(ii)  The child has been abandoned with no means of identification for at least three (3) months and efforts to locate the parent have been unsuccessful;
(iii)  The child has been abused or neglected by the parent and reasonable efforts by an authorized agency or mental health professional have been unsuccessful in rehabilitating the family or the family has refused rehabilitative treatment, and it is shown that the child's health and safety would be seriously jeopardized by remaining with or returning to the parent;
(iv)  The parent is incarcerated due to the conviction of a felony and a showing that the parent is unfit to have the custody and control of the child;
(v)  The child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the state of Wyoming for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months, and a showing that the parent is unfit to have custody and control of the child;
(vi)  The child is abandoned at less than one (1) year of age and has been abandoned for at least six (6) months;
(vii)  The child was relinquished to a safe haven provider in accordance with W.S. 1411101 through 1411109, and neither parent has affirmatively sought the return of the child within three (3) months from the date of relinquishment;
(viii)  The parent is convicted of murder or homicide of the other parent of the child under W.S. 62101 through 62104.
(b)  Proof by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has been convicted of any of the following crimes may constitute grounds that the parent is unfit to have custody or control of any child and may be grounds for terminating the parent-child relationship as to any child with no requirement that reasonable efforts be made to reunify the family:
(i)  Murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent or aiding and abetting, attempting, conspiring to commit or soliciting such a crime; or
(ii)  Commission of a felony assault which results in serious bodily injury to a child of the parent. As used in this paragraph "serious bodily injury" means as defined by W.S. 61104.
(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, evidence that reasonable efforts have been made to preserve and reunify the family is not required in any case in which the court determines any one (1) or more of the following by clear and convincing evidence:
(i)  The parental rights of the parent to any other child have been terminated involuntarily;
(ii)  The parent abandoned, chronically abused, tortured or sexually abused the child;
(iii)  The parent has been convicted of committing one (1) or more of the following crimes against the child or another child of that parent:
(A)  Sexual assault under W.S. 62302 through 62304;
(B)  Sexual battery under W.S. 62313;
(C)  Sexual abuse of a minor under W.S. 62314 through 62317.
(iv)  The parent is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to W.S. 719302 if the offense involved the child or another child of that parent. This shall not apply if the parent is only required to register for conviction under W.S. 62201;
(v)  Other aggravating circumstances exist indicating that there is little likelihood that services to the family will result in successful reunification.
142310.  Parties authorized to file petition.
(a)  The petition for the termination of the parentchild relationship shall be filed with the court by:
(i)  Either parent, when termination of the parentchild legal relationship is sought with respect to the other parent; or
(ii)  The guardian or the legal custodian of the child; or
(iii)  An authorized agency.
142311.  Contents of petition.
(a)  The petition for the termination of the parentchild legal relationship shall state:
(i)  The legal name, sex, date and place of birth of the child, if known, and the jurisdictional facts;
(ii)  The name and residence of the petitioner and his relationship to the child;
(iii)  The name, address and place and date of birth of the parent, if known, and of the name of the person having the legal custody or guardianship of the child;
(iv)  The grounds for termination of the parentchild legal relationship pursuant to W.S. 142309;
(v)  Name and address of the person or authorized agency requesting appointment as the guardian of the child.
142312.  Hearing; appointment of guardian ad litem.
After the petition has been filed, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child unless the court finds the interests of the child will be represented adequately by the petitioner or another party to the action and are not adverse to that party. If the court appoints a guardian ad litem it shall approve a fee for services. When a petition is filed and presented to the judge, the judge shall set the petition for hearing. The Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure, including the right of a parent, child or interested person to demand a jury trial, are applicable in actions brought under this act.
142313.  Service of petition.
(a)  The petition shall be served on the following persons:
(i)  The parent of the child;
(ii)  The guardian ad litem;
(iii)  The guardian or next friend of the parent if the parent is a minor;
(iv)  The department of family services if the child is or has been supported by public assistance funds.
(b)  Service of the petition on the person required to be served by subsection (a) of this section shall be made as provided by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure. If the person is a nonresident or his residence is unknown, service may be had by constructive service or by publication as provided in the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure.
142314.  Social study required; information to be shown; not excluded as hearsay.
Upon the filing of a petition by anyone other than an authorized agency as defined by W.S. 142308(a)(ii)(A), the court shall direct that a social study be made by the appropriate county office of public assistance and social services or by any authorized agency to aid the court in making a final disposition of the petition. The social study shall state the factual information pertaining to the allegations in the petition, the social history and the present situation and environment of the child and parent. The social study shall not be excluded as evidence by reason of hearsay alone. The social study shall be made available to any party to the action upon request.
142315.  Order terminating the parentchild legal relationship; contents.
The order terminating the parentchild legal relationship shall be in writing and shall contain the findings of the court. If the court terminates the parentchild legal relationship of either one (1) or both parents, it shall fix the responsibility for the child's support and appoint a guardian of the child's person or estate or both.
142316.  Dismissal of petition; continuation of hearing.
If the court does not terminate the parentchild legal relationship, it shall dismiss the petition or direct an authorized agency to continue to make efforts to rehabilitate the parent and continue the hearing for no longer than six (6) months. The authorized agency shall provide the court with any additional reports regarding its rehabilitative efforts and results. Pending final hearing, the court may continue the present placement of the child or place the child in the temporary custody of an authorized agency and fix responsibility for temporary child support.
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