Is It Legal To Kick Your Teenager Out Of The House In Texas?
I was a pretty terrible teenager and I know I gave my parents a hard time. I'm surprised they didn't kick me out. If I were them, I would have been looking for a way to get my sorry butt out of the house before I turned 18. But, is that actually legal?
Can you kick a teenager out of your home in Texas? Let's see what Texas law has to say...
Legal guardians can get into really big trouble for kicking a teenager out on their own without first emancipating them, which can be a tricky process. Most often, the teenager has to be 16 or 17 years old to become emancipated from their parents in Texas, but some circumstances might make it possible for a child under that age to leave home. It's all determined on a case-by-case basis.
Legally, you are responsible for your children up until they are 18, so if you and your teen agree that it might be time to part ways and you are considering emancipating them, they will have to be able to prove that they have the ability to provide for themselves financially and also prove that they are capable of making their own decisions.
I'm an adult, and I still think it might be hard for me to prove to the state of Texas that I am financially independent and a decent decision-maker, so good luck with that one...
If your teenager decides to dip in the middle of the night and go live with a friend or relative without your consent or emancipation, they would be considered a runaway. Whoever they are staying with could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for harboring a minor if you decide to press charges. It's also important to remember that it is illegal in Texas for a child to run away from home. It's not a criminal offense, but it is considered a status offense, which basically means it would not be a crime if they were an adult.
In closing, if you are fed up with your teenager, or they are fed up with you, and you just cannot seem to get along, please contact the Texas Youth Helpline for free information and to discuss your options before you make any big decisions.