• Stephen Williams

Emancipating a Child in Alabama

Updated: Oct 7


Can a Child be emancipated in Alabama? Yeah, kinda. We don’t call it that, there’s a pretty big hitch and it’s barely worth it, but it’s on the books and here’s how it works…

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It’s call the “Relief of Minor Children from Disabilities of Nonage”, and it’s established by § 26-13-1, et seq., Ala. Code 1975. Here’s the thing, the age of majority in Alabama is 19 years and you have to be 18 to qualify to be emancipated. So, the Child has to be 18 for the process to get started and it stops mattering once they’re 19. We think the age of majority should be 18 and emancipation should be an option at 16 (note, an option, not necessarily a good idea). If it were 18 and 16 it might actually be worth the trouble and the space the law takes up on the page.

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In any case, the process requires the Petition be filed by a Parent, whether that parent is the Custodian or not, (that’s actually kinda interesting), and approval by the Juvenile Court. (The only exception to the Parent requirement is that if there is no Parent that is living or sane).

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The only time we’ve ever seen it be worth it to someone, and we can’t even be sure this is correct, was a young person who didn’t qualify for enough FAFSA for college because they had to count their parents income until they became emancipated. We told our client, “we’re not education lawyers; we’ve never heard of this but we can take care of the emancipation part.”

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Emancipating a Child in Alabama is an option under limited circumstances. It’s not the best written or most helpful law, but it’s out there.

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If you would like to learn more about how you, as a Committed Parent or Caring Relative, can stand up for yourself and be more effective in your Child Custody case, please click the “book appointment online” on the menu or top right of your screen to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices.

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This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you and or your unique situation. ~SW, Foxtrot