Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm 17 and I want to leave home questions

It seems that almost every 17 yr. old wants to leave their home and go live somewhere else!

Here is the bottom line:

1.  Call your local police, sheriff and constable. See the policy of your local policing agencies.
Their policies vary.  They are free to change their policy on a daily basis.  Most are under-staffed and over-worked.  Most don't have time to chase 17 yr. old kids. 

2.  For criminal purposes you are an adult in the State of Texas.

3.  For civil purposes (signing a lease  or buying a car - for exmaple) you are still a minor.
No one will lease to you or sell you a car on credit.

4.  Emancipation in the State of Texas.  This is called "removed of disabilities" in the TX Family Code.  It is available on-line.  You can read it. 

It costs money to be emancipated - the filing fee is approximately $300.  If you can't afford to pay the filing fee and the associated costs then most judges won't even consider emancipating the minor . 

Will a judge sign it?  Depends on the judge.  Also, usually takes a couple of months to get in front of a judge. 

I suggest that you hire an experienced family law attorney to assist in the process since it's a complicated process and requires a lot of paperwork.  In Texas, you must do the paperwork exactly as required by the judge so don't waste your money with the kits sold on t.v., radio or at office supply store -- total waste of money!

Usually the only teenages emancipated are athletes and musicians so that they can sign legal contracts.

5.  Can a minor kid come live with my family?  Again, I'd call your local policing agencies and see if they care.  I'd also talk to both parents and/or the person who has legal custody of them.  I would not talk someone banging on my door in the middle of the night wanting to arrest me for interfering with custody or making some sort of false criminal charges! 

For example, I know of a school teacher that lost her job because she took in a teen-ager boy, CPS got an anonymous called and "sexual" allegations were made.  The next thing she knew the school district terminated her contract due to the "allegations".  The allegations were later "dismissed" but she lost her job and could not find any other employment in her field!  Her career was ruined.  She had to hire an attorney and incurred thousands in legal fees.  Now she's lost her home because she could not make her mortgage payment.  Was it worth it?  Her credit is ruined, she can no longer find a teaching job, she has a "file" with CPS.  Eventually, her husband filed for divorce and got primary custody of their minor children. 

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