Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
Everyone has their own personal reasons for wanting to move out of home as soon as possible.
These reasons can stretch from just wanting to be completely independent, to something far more serious – but the question still remains: can you move out at 17 in Texas?
Today, we will be diving into your rights as a 17 year old and if it is legal for you to live independently in the state of Texas.
Be aware that in the future these laws may change, but all information is correct at this current time.
So now, let’s find out how a 17 year old can live independently in Texas.
Can A 17 Year Old Move Out In Texas?
This is because a 17 year old is under the age of majority.
The age of majority is the legal age at which someone is defined as an adult and gains all the rights and responsibilities associated with adulthood.
In the US (including the state of Texas), the age of majority is 18 years of age.
This means that if you are under the age of 18, you are considered a minor and are under the legal responsibility of your parent or guardian.
It is their legal duty to provide you with shelter and care, and thus you must live with them until you are the age of majority.
Therefore, you legally cannot move out at the age of 17, but nor can your parents or guardian force you out.
They are legally and financially responsible for you until you are 18 and so you must live with them until you reach the age of majority.
Throwing a minor out of their home classes as abandonment, and so you are well within your rights to continue living under your parents or guardian’s roof until you turn 18.
So legally, you have to live with your parents or guardians until you are 18.
However, this does not mean that you are stuck. There are ways available for you to be able to move out at 17 in Texas without getting your parents in trouble with the law for abandonment.
Take a look below at a few ways you can move out at 17 without getting into trouble.
This is the easiest way you can move out at 17 – with your parents’ consent.
A lot of 17 year olds all across the states (including Texas) do this, especially when it comes to getting ready and moving for college.
Say you wanted to live closer to your college or university and you had a relative or close family friend who already lived in the area you wanted to move to, you can move in with them before you are 18 with your parents’ consent.
The same applies to other kinds of situations – if you already have a steady home waiting for you with a legal adult as supervision, then you can come to an agreement with your parents or guardians to allow you to move out before you reach 18.
However, it is vital that you have their permission to move out.
Moving out without your parents’ consent may cause them to file a runaway report – and once law enforcement finds you, they have to return you to your parents or legal guardian.
Even at 17, you can be classed as a runaway in Texas and be forced to return to your parents.
So, sit your parents or guardian down for a talk and discuss the topic together. This way you can get their consent and move out with minimal fuss.
Another reason why a lot of 17 year olds want to move out before their 18th birthday is because they just don’t get along with the people living in their household.
Whether it is your biological parents or step-siblings you are not getting along with, you can legally seek to live with another member of your family as long as they themselves agree to you living under their roof.
This could be you switching which parent has custody of you, or even switching custody to your grandparents.
Texas does allow grandparent rights as long as there is an already established relationship, so your grandparents would have to seek a lawyer to discuss their options when it comes to battling for custody of you in court.
However, these processes can be lengthy and costly – so if you can stick it out until your 18th birthday, then perhaps this would be the more sensible option.
However, if your situation is more complicated and you are worried for your safety, then contact Child Protection Services (or have a relative or friend contact them on your behalf).
They have the power to remove you from an unsafe household and keep you protected elsewhere.
When someone is looking to move away from their legal parents or guardians before they turn 18, this is the route they often look towards: emancipation.
Emancipation basically means that you appeal to the court so you can be legally recognized as an adult before reaching the age of majority.
If the court agrees to emancipate you, then you will be able to exercise the rights of an adult before your 18th birthday along with accepting the legal liabilities that also come with adulthood.
In Texas, emancipation is automatic in some situations. One situation is if you get married as minors are permitted to marry with parental consent at the earliest age of 14.
So if you are allowed by your parents to get married before 18 – then you are also legally allowed to move out as you have also been emancipated.
The same goes if you join the armed forces before your 18th birthday. You will be emancipated upon admission – but you will also need your parents’ permission prior to applying due to the legal age limits regarding minors and the armed forces.
To appeal for emancipation, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Manage your own financial affairs and support yourself
- Be at least 17 years old, or 16 years old and already live apart from your parents or legal guardian.
You will also have to give a reason for why you are requesting emancipation and why emancipation would be in your best interest.
Your parents or legal guardian will also be given the opportunity to dispute the emancipation, so this process does come down to the decision of the judge or jury.
Courts are also often reluctant to emancipate minors, but will take into consideration a lot of factors like your education and health when deciding if emancipation is best for you.
This means that emancipation is not a guaranteed solution.
So can you move out at 17 in Texas?
Legally, no. Your parents or guardian will be well in their rights to report you as a runaway and force you to return home.
To get around this, you will either need your parents consent to move away or have custody of yourself switched to another relative so you can move away.
To gain full independence however, you will need to emancipate yourself either automatically by getting married or joining the armed forces with your parents’ consent, or by appealing to a court for emancipation.
Unless you are able to achieve any of the above solutions, you are legally forced to live at home until you are 18 as your parents or guardian are the ones responsible for you.