Minors Law Law & Legal Definition


A minor is a  person who does not have the legal rights of an adult. A minor is usually defined as someone who has not yet reached the age of majority. In most states, a person reaches majority and acquires all of the rights and responsibilities of an adult when he or she turns 18. Until a minor reaches the legal age of adulthood, he or she may not be responsible for his/her own actions (including the capacity to enter into a contract which is enforceable by the other party), for damages for negligence or intentional wrongs without a parent being liable, nor for punishment as an adult for a crime. The national legal age for drinking or buying alcoholic beverages is 21. Marriage with or without parental consent, driving, prosecution for crimes, the right to choose an abortion and liability for damages vary from state to state.

A contract, otherwise valid, entered into by a minor, cannot be disaffirmed because of the minor's minority if the contract is to pay the reasonable value of necessaries. The meaning of the term "necessaries" depends on the facts of the individual case. It depends on many things, including the particular circumstances of the minor, the actual need, and the use to which the purchased article is to be put. However, the common-law classification of necessaries as including food, lodging, clothing, medicine, medical attention, and education is generally recognized to the extent such items are suited to the minor's social position and situation in life, even though such items are not absolutely needed.