Friday, April 24, 2009
Emancipation in Texas
I get this question from many 17 yr. olds so I thought I'd post my comments again. The TEXAS FAMILY CODE Chapter 31 (available on-line) covers REMOVAL OF DISABILITIES OF MINORITY. Chp. 31.001 cover the requirements - a resident of TX, 16 or 17 yrs. old, self-supporting and managing their own financial affairs. (BF supporting does not qualify!) Chapter 31.002 is regarding the legal document that must be filed - called A PETITION. Must state the name, age and place of residence of the child and the name and place of residence of both parents; reasons why removal would be in the best interests of the child; and the purposes for which removal is requested. Usually a parent has to verify the pleading. Chapter 31.003 is concerning the county to file the document. You file where the child lives. Chapter 31.004 - The Judge SHALL appoint an amicus attonrey or attonrey ad litem to represent the child's interests at the hearing. The only children that usually get emancipated are musicians and athletes. It is done in order that they can sign legally binding endorsements and contracts. The costs prevent most teen-agers from seeking emancipation. Filing fee is approx. $250, attorney to draft the papers would be at least $500, attorney to represent child (appointed by the Judge) can run easily over $500 - anticipate the cost being at least $1,000. Many judges are of the opinion that a 17 yr. old can wait less than 12 months to become an adult.