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Missouri Legal Ages Laws

State Legal Age Laws: Overview

Those who are 18 and older are considered adults in the eyes of the law, but many states also set age limits for minors with respect to certain legal obligations and privileges. For instance, minors in most states may consent to certain medical treatments or petition the court for emancipation from one's parents. In general, state laws identify certain legal processes that minors may encounter and have made exceptions to accommodate them.

Summary of Missouri Legal Age Laws

Missouri statute does not specify age limits below the age of majority (18), but it does offer some limited exceptions for minors. For instance, a minor may consent to medical treatment if married or if the treatment is for pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, or substance abuse. Additionally, a married minor (if the spouse is 18 or older) may be included in the joint ownership of real estate.

The state does not have a formal procedure for the emancipation of minors, in which a minor is declared an "adult" in the eyes of the law (and thus eligible for all of the privileges and responsibilities of adulthood). But Missouri does allow for the emancipation of minors by court order in some limited circumstances, which include:

  1. Express parental consent (waiving parental rights)
  2. Implied parental consent (minor is already living apart from parents and supporting him or herself)
  3. Significant change in status (this may include military enlistment or marriage)

Learn more about Missouri's legal age laws in the following table and corresponding links to related topics. See FindLaw's Emancipation of Minors section for additional articles.

Age of Majority 18 (common law)
Eligibility for Emancipation If married, minor may convey or encumber real estate if spouse is of age (§442.040)
Contracts by Minors May be ratified after 18 (§431.060); for real property, may be disaffirmed within 2 years (§442.080)
Minors' Ability to Sue By guardian, next friend, or court appointed (CR §52.02)
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment Minor may consent if: married; treatment is for pregnancy, excluding abortion; venereal disease, drug or substance abuse

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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