In response to the recent legislation passed by the Texas Legislature which makes it legal for college students with Texas CHL licenses to carry on campus, Southern Methodist University is holding a Campus Carry Debate on Tuesday, December 1st at 7 P.M. The debate will take place at Umphree Lee Room 241.
Under Texas law, a surviving spouse has a life estate in the marital homestead. This life estate gives the surviving spouse a right to live there for so long as she lives or until she chooses to move out.
First, what is a marital homestead? Generally, the marital homestead is real property and any improvements placed on it that's used by a married couple as their home. What qualifies as a homestead depends on whether the real property is urban or rural. Urban areas are those which are located within a municipality's limits, extraterritorial jurisdiction, or platted subdivision; have a police force and either a paid or volunteer fire department; and have at least 3 of the following services through a municipality: electric, water, sewer, storm sewer, and natural gas. Homesteads located in urban areas, urban homesteads, are limited to 10 acres. For more on the definitions of urban homestead and rural homestead, see Article 16, Section 51 of the Texas Constitution; Tex. Prop. Code §41.002(a).
If the father was married at the time of his death, then his surviving spouse has a right to continue living in the home for so long as she chooses. Tex. Const. art. 16, §52; Tex. Est. Code §102.005. The fact that the father left the property to his child doesn't change this. See Tex. Est. Code §102.002.
Despite the protections from forced sale provided by the Texas Constitution, Property Code, and Estates Code, there are certain circumstances under which a forced sale is possible under Texas law. These and other legal options should be discussed in private with an attorney.
In Texas, your child is considered a minor until he turns 18 or is emancipated. Until this happens, you are generally legally responsible for him. This includes his attending school, damage he causes to others' property, etc.
If your minor child wants to move out and you approve of this, then your child may file a petition to remove the disabilities of minority under Texas Family Code section 31.001 et seq. in your local family district court or other appropriate court. This petition must be verified by a parent, but not necessarily both parents. The petition to remove the disabilities of minority must also provide 1) the name, age, and place of residence of the child, 2) the name and place of residence of each living parent, 3) the name and place of residence of the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate, if any, 4) the name and place of residence of the managing conservator, if any, 5) the reasons why removal would be in the best interest of the minor, and 6) the purposes for which removal is requested. The court will then appoint an attorney to represent your child. If the court determines that emancipation is in the best interests of your child, then the court will order him emancipated. At this point, your child is considered an adult, and you're no longer legally liable for your child's decisions.
If your child under 17 moves out without your permission (runs away), this would be considered a status offense. The police could forcefully return your child to your home. After multiple incidents, your child could be considered a habitual runaway, and the state might get involved. Adults in Texas who allow a runaway child to live with them face charges of harboring a runaway under the Texas Penal Code among other charges.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
Nothing on this website is legal advice. The information on this site is general in nature and might not apply to your individual situation.