Every family is different. Where some families are close-knit and stay together all the way till reunions in old age, other families are full of individualists and each person goes their separate ways as soon as possible.
In those cases where a child wants to go his or her separate way before the age of 18, Texas Family Law Chapter 31 allows for emancipation of a minor.
In Texas an emancipation of a minor can happen if the minor is a resident of the state; 17 years of age, or at least 16 and living separate from the parents or guardians; and if he or she is self-supporting and managing his or her own financial affairs.
The take-away there is that to be emancipated in Texas, you have to be at least 16.
If you satisfy these preliminary requirements, then you might consider filing the requisite paperwork.
The paperwork -- called a petition for a Texas Emancipation -- which would be filed in the county where the petitioner lives and must include a number of things, such as:
- (1) the name, age, and place of residence of the petitioner;
- (2) the name and place of residence of each living parent;
- (3) the name and place of residence of the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate, if any;
- (4) the name and place of residence of the managing conservator, if any;
- (5) the reasons why removal would be in the best interest of the minor; and
- (6) the purposes for which removal is requested.
It should also be noted that the Texas emancipation petition must be verified by a parent or guardian. If the person is unavailable then a petitioner can get an attorney ad litem, which would be appointed by the court.
Emancipation isn't for everyone; but for those who need it, the law is definitely out there.
- Find a Houston Family Law attorney (FindLaw)
- Divorcing? Consider an Out of Court Divorce Settlement (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)
- Texas Family Code (Texas Constitution and Statutes)