Texas, as do many other states, recognizes 18 as the “age of majority,” at which point residents are legally considered adults (as opposed to “minors”). But Texaslegal ages laws also govern a minor’s eligibility for emancipation, the legal capacity for signing a contract or consenting 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 in certain circumstances. Any minor petitioning a Texas court for emancipation — that is, being declared an adult in the eyes of the law — must be a Texas resident, 17 years old (or 16 andliving apart from one’s parents), and able to support and manage one’s own affairs.

The minor seeking emancipation will have to state the following in his or her petition:

  • Name, age, residency of petitioner
  • Name and residency of parents/guardians (if still living), or managing conservator (if applicable)
  • Reasons why emancipation serves the best interests of the petitioning minor
  • Purpose for 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 one’s parents (and thus eligible for emancipation) may consent to medical treatment. However, all minors in Texas may consent to treatment pertaining to pregnancy, drug or alcohol abuse, or infectious diseases.

The table below highlights some of the main provisions of Texas legal ages laws. See Emancipation of Minors and Parental Liability Basics for related information.