Overview of Texas Legal Age Laws
Like many other states, Texas recognizes 18 as the "age of majority." This is the age when residents are legally considered adults. Prior to that age, they are considered "minors."
Texas legal age laws also govern a minor's eligibility for emancipation, legal capacity for signing a contract, or ability to consent to medical treatment. Also, the legal age for alcohol consumption in all states is 21.
Emancipation of Minors in Texas
Texas law allows for the emancipation of minors under certain circumstances. Any minor petitioning a Texas court for emancipation must be a resident of the state, 17 years old, and able to support and manage their own affairs. Other minors who are at least 16 years old and living apart from their parents are also eligible for emancipation.
The minor seeking emancipation will have to state the following in their petition:
- Name, age, and residency
- Name and residency of parents or guardians (if either are still living), or name and residency of managing conservator (if applicable)
- Reasons why emancipation serves the best interests of the petitioning minor
- Purpose of the request
Consenting to Medical Treatment as a Minor
Any minor who is either in the military or 16 years old and living apart from their parents may consent to medical treatment. However, all minors in Texas may consent to treatments related to pregnancy, drug or alcohol abuse, or infectious diseases.
The table below highlights some of the main provisions of Texas legal age laws. See FindLaw's "Emancipation of Minors" and "Parental Liability Basics" for related information.
|Age of Majority
- Under Civ. Prac. & Rem. §129.001, the age of majority is 18.
|Eligibility for Emancipation
- Under V.T.C.A., Family Code, §31.001 et seq., a minor is eligible for emancipation if they are a resident of the state and 17 years of age.
- If they are not 17 years of age, they are also eligible if they are at least 16 years of age and living apart from their guardian or parents.
- Minors seeking emancipation must be self-supporting.
- They may also qualify if they are living separately from their parents and are self-supporting by marriage.
|Contracts by Minors
- Under V.T.C.A., Insurance Code § 1104.003, minors may enter into contracts for insurance and annuities.
- Under the common law of the state, contracts made by minors may be disaffirmed, but they must be disaffirmed within a reasonable period of time after the minor reaches the age of majority.
|Minors' Ability to Sue
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment
- Under V.T.C.A., Family Code §32.003, a minor may consent to any medical treatment if they are in the military or at least 16 years of age and living apart from their parents.
- Under the same statute, a minor may consent to treatment for pregnancy, substance abuse, or infectious diseases.
- Under V.T.C.A., Family Code § 32.1011, a minor may consent to vaccinations.
- Under V.T.C.A., Family Code § 32.202, a minor can consent to receiving emergency shelter or medical care.
Note: State laws are constantly changing. Contact a Texas family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about laws in Texas, including those related to age:
- At Texas Law, you'll find links to all the laws of the state, including those related to age.
- At Official State Codes, you'll find links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Texas Legal Age Laws: Related Resources
Consider reviewing the following for more information about laws and legal issues related to age:
Learn More About Texas Legal Ages Laws from an Attorney
Whether you want to know about emancipation laws or a minor's legal ability to consent to medical treatment, there is one key place to go for answers -- a family law attorney. A good lawyer can explain the law and how it impacts your particular situation.