Can I Move Out At 17 In Texas?

There’s a couple of reasons, some valid and some not as to why one may want to move out at the age of 17 in Texas. The reasons ranging from abuse to utter parental neglect whereby you’ll be already looking after yourself with no help from your parents at all, to simply wanting no support (financial or otherwise) from your parents whatsoever. But can you move out at 17 in the state of Texas without getting into some sort of trouble with the law? Well let’s find out shall we.

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Runaway Laws In Texas

It is considered to be a status offense (not a criminal offense) for a child to run away from home, which means it is against the law. However the Juvenile Delinquency and Prevention Act of Texas prevents and protects status offenders (or runaway children) from being placed in correctional facilities like jail or prison if they happen to commit such an offense. In Texas children are only supposed to be legally taken care of up until the age of 18, this is when they’re considered to be full grown adults and free to make their own decisions. A status offense is only applicable to children aged 16 and younger. But since an 18 year old is practically an adult, they would not be committing a status offense if they left or moved out of their homes. They would instead be considered to be a missing person. Seventeen year olds are directly in-between adults and teenagers (or minors.) So being 17 in Texas is will not give you automatic immunity to move out of your parent’s house.

So You Want To Move Out At 17 In Texas

The Runaway Laws in Texas state that anybody under the age of 18 who leaves home without the verbal consent or permission of their parents (one or both) will be considered a runaway. This is with the exception of cause of kidnappings. However there is another exception and it is if you are an emancipated youth. A child or teen can only be emancipated (to set free from the power/tyranny of another or to be liberated from) their parents if they reach the age of 16. And to do this you would need to send a petition to court with the aid of an attorney. Not only this; you would have to show that you are able and willing to take care of yourself financially, make your own mature decisions and that separation from your parents is for the best of your well-being. This is referred to as a judicial bypass in Texas. However it should be clear by now that a 17 year old is not allowed (by the law) to move out without the permission of his/her parents. Although as also stated above, there are some laws that protect children in certain situations and circumstances.

The Easy Way To Move Out At 17

If you want to move out of your parent’s house at the age of 17 in the state of Texas then the easiest way to do that is also the high road. And that is simply asking your parents, and gaining their consent for you to move out and fend for yourself. This is especially advised for when you’re getting ready for college in which case you would absolutely need to move perhaps because your college is a long drive from home. If you want to move out because you don’t get along with the people you live with then you can ask your parents for consent to go live with another family member (uncle, aunt, etc.) who will welcome you with open arms. These are easy ways out to move because you do not involve the law or the police in the matter which can turn out to be long, costly and regrettable later in your life.

Some Points To Carefully Consider

  • If you are being abused then you should contact the Texas Youth Helpline to report the issue, they will then advise you as best as they can and offer you a good way out of that abusive family setup.
  • You may find that when you ask your parents gently, you may even get some financial support to start your new life, however you should not expect any financial support from your parents whatsoever if you decide to embark on such a journey. This is because you’d have made a decision, as a developing person to move out under the roof and support of your parents therefore you should expect to support yourself.
  • The above way may be easy but supporting yourself at the age of 17 is not as easy as you imagine. Therefore it would be simpler to just wait out for one year (until you turn 18) which is when you will be considered to be part of the majority (adult) and you’ll be free to move around or out at your own will in the state of Texas.
  • Some 17 year olds may be confused as to why the age of consent (sexual consent) in Texas is 17 and yet you cannot move out without permission from your parents. We’ll at 17 you are still developing, even though at 18 you still will be developing, you’ll be very much more developed than when you were at 17. It is basically the threshold between teenagehood and the start of adulthood. However you are not fully developed as an adult until you get to twenty five (scientifically speaking.)


For better and more expert information on moving out at 17 in the state of Texas, be sure to get in touch with the Texas Youth Helpline where you will not only get information but advice on how to navigate through the problems and challenges in your life that nobody else seems to be understanding. Your parents aren’t all bad and if you tell them your reasons for wanting independence, they might find your request admirable.