Can a minor get emancipated in Alabama?

Full Question:

I am an 18-year-old guy living in Alabama. My mom and dad both died recently in a fatal car crash and I have no other family left. I’m currently living in my parents’ house and I have a part-time job to help me pay the bills. Since I’m 18 years old, would I legally be able to live on my own?
04/07/2017   |   Category: Minors » Emancipation...   |   State: Alabama   |   #35320

Answer:

In Alabama, the age of majority is 19 years old. However, a minor above the age of 18 can petition the juvenile court to get emancipated in specific circumstances. Here, since both your parents are dead, you can petition the juvenile court to get emancipated. The petition must be filed in the county where you currently reside. The court may restrict and qualify some of your rights in the judgment if it deems it advisable. A certified copy of the judgment of emancipation must be filed in the office of the judge of probate in the county where you reside and in the office of the judge of probate in the county where you may do any business or make contracts.

Ala. Code § 26-1-1 states the age of majority in Alabama:
 
“(a) Any person in this state, at the arrival at the age of 19 years, shall be relieved of his or her disabilities of minority and thereafter shall have the same legal rights and abilities as persons over 21 years of age. No law of this state shall discriminate for or against any person between and including the ages of 19 and 21 years solely on the basis of age.
(b) This section shall also apply to any person who arrived at the age of 19 and 20 years before July 22, 1975, but shall not abrogate any defense or abridge any remedy available to him or her prior to such date.
(c) All laws or parts of laws which read “under the age of 21 years” hereafter shall read “under the age of 19 years.” Wherever the words “under the age of 21 years” appear in any law limiting the legal rights and abilities of persons under such age, such words shall be construed to mean under the age of 19 years.
(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c), nothing in this section shall be deemed to repeal any provision of Chapter 19 of Title 15.
(e) Notwithstanding subsection (a), an honorably discharged veteran who is under the age of 19 shall be permitted to enter into a contract for the purchase of a motor vehicle.
(f) Notwithstanding subsection (a), or any other provision of law to the contrary, a person who is 18 years of age or older may consent to participate in research conducted by a college or university that is accredited by a federally recognized accrediting agency if the research has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the institution.”
 
Further, Ala. Code § 26-13-1 enumerates the circumstances when emancipation may be granted:
 
“The several juvenile courts of the state are authorized to relieve minors over 18 years of age from the disabilities of nonage in the following cases and none other:
(1) Whenever the father or the mother of such minor shall file a petition with the court, in writing, requesting that such minor be relieved from the disabilities of nonage, and the court shall be satisfied that it is to the best interest of such minor. The parent filing such petition shall aver whether he or she is the guardian of such minor.
(2) Whenever any such minor, having no father, mother, or guardian, or if a parent is living but is insane or has abandoned such minor for one year, shall file a petition with the court to be relieved of the disabilities of nonage, and the court shall be satisfied that it is to the interest of such minor.
(3) Whenever any such minor, having no father or mother, or if a parent is living but is insane or has abandoned such minor for one year, but having a guardian, shall file a petition with the juvenile court to be relieved from the disabilities and the guardian shall join in such petition and the court shall be satisfied that it is to the interest of such minor.”
 
Ala. Code § 26-13-2 states how the petition for emancipation must be filed:
“The petition must be filed in the county in which the parent or guardian of such minor resides or in the county in which the guardianship of such minor is pending when the petition is filed by the parent or guardian and in the county where the minor resides when the petition is filed by a minor who has no parents or guardian or whose parents reside beyond the limits of the state and such minor resides in this state. In the event that the parent, guardian, or minor filing such petition resides beyond the limits of the State of Alabama, then the petition may be filed in the county in which the guardianship of such minor is pending or in the county where the minor owns any real or personal property.”
 
Ala. Code § 26-13-6 states that:
 
“The court, in its judgment, may, if it deems it advisable, restrict and qualify the rights of a minor relieved from the disabilities of nonage, as to acquittances to, and contracts with guardians, executors, administrators, trustees, and other persons indebted to such minor, to such an extent as to the court may seem proper in each particular case. Such restrictions shall be fully set forth in the judgment relieving such minor from the disabilities of nonage.”
 
Ala. Code § 26-13-7 states that:
 
“Every minor relieved of the disabilities of nonage under the provisions of this chapter must file a certified copy of the judgment relieving him from such disabilities in the office of the judge of probate in each of the counties in which such minor shall thereafter reside and in the office of the judge of probate of each county in the state where such minor shall do any business or make any contracts. It shall be the duty of the judge of probate to record the judgment and keep the same for the inspection of the public.”