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Nebraska Legal Ages Laws

Individuals are legally considered adults once they reach the age of majority -- 18 in most states -- which means they are subject to the rights and responsibilities afforded to all adults. While minors have few rights and responsibilities (compared to legal adults), state laws determine limits and rules for minors who need access to certain legal processes, such as birth control. For example, a child under the age of majority may file a petition with the court to become emancipated (or, declared to be a legal adult) if he or she is able to show a court that it's in his or her best interests. Not all states provide a clear process for emancipation, but most allow it under certain circumstances.

In addition, states laws establish guidelines for minors with respect to providing medical consent, entering into contracts, suing in a court of law, and other legal processes.

Nebraska Legal Ages Laws at a Glance

Nebraska is unique in that the age of majority is 19 (only two other states set the limit higher than 18). And as far as emancipation is concerned, the only explicitly stated rationale for being declared an adult in Nebraska is marriage. However, common law controls this process and courts will grant emancipation for good reason, including enlistment in the armed forces or financial independence. Minors may not sue directly, but may do so through a guardian or next friend.

Additional provisions of Nebraska laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the following table.

Age of Majority 19 (§43-2101)
Eligibility for Emancipation Marriage (§43-2101); common law (209 Neb. 94(1981)); enlistment in the armed forces; as approved by the court on a case-by-case basis
Contracts by Minors Common law applies
Minors' Ability to Sue Except as provided in Probate Code, actions by infant shall be commenced by guardian or next friend. (§25-307)
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment Emancipated minors (including those attending college away from home); minors may consent to drug/alcohol treatment and contraceptive services

Note: State laws are not etched in stone and may change at any time through the enactment of new legislation, voter approval of ballot initiatives, and other means. You may want to contact a Nebraska family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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