my account

Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Find answers to common questions in our searchable FAQ.

1274 views   |   3   |   Last updated on Mar 05, 2020    Family Law Minors

Section 129.001 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code establishes the “age of majority” to be 18 years of age. The laws regarding a minor emancipating themselves (described in the law as the “removal of disabilities of minority”) are found in chapter 31 of the Texas Family Code. The statutes in that chapter set out the requirements needed for a minor to petition the court for the removal of the disabilities of minority. Section 31.001 states:

Sec. 31.001. REQUIREMENTS. (a) A minor may petition to have the disabilities of minority removed for limited or general purposes if the minor is:
  (1) a resident of this state;
  (2) 17 years of age, or at least 16 years of age and living separate and apart from the minor's parents, managing conservator, or guardian; and
  (3) self-supporting and managing the minor's own financial affairs.
(b) A minor may file suit under this chapter in the minor's own name. The minor need not be represented by next friend. has an FAQ page with answers to many common questions about legal emancipation, including information on its general effects, what is included in a petition for removal of disabilities of minority, and other considerations. 

The Houston Bar Association publishes a Family Law Handbook that also has information about this procedure. See the "Removal of a Child's Legal Disabilities" section of their Family Law Handbook.

For more in-depth information and examples of legal forms related to emancipation, you may be interested in Objective U: Emancipating a Minor in volume 4 of Texas Family Law Practice and Procedure, a set of e-books available to registered library patrons. To register for a free library account online, please see our Get a Library Account page.

Our research guide Can a seventeen-year-old leave home? also has more information and resources on Texas laws that are relevant to minors.

browse by topic