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New York Legal Ages Laws

States differentiate between adults and minors with respect to legal capacity. This means that the law cannot assign legal responsibility to an individual who lacks the mental capacity or maturity to fully understand the consequences of their actions. This often arises when a child commits a serious crime and prosecutors must decide whether to charge the child as an adult.

People mature at different ages, but states must draw the line somewhere. New York's legal ages laws, for instance, establish an "age of majority" of 18 at which an individual is legally considered an adult. This chart provides the basics of New York legal age laws. See How Long Do Parents' Legal Obligations to Their Children Continue? to learn more.

Age of Majority 18 (Dom. Rel. §2)
Eligibility for Emancipation Not specified
Contracts by Minors May disaffirm most contracts if disaffirmed within reasonable time after reaching majority; exceptions: (1). certain loans; (2). married infant buying home; (3). providing medical care for self/child; (4). for performing athletic or arts services if court-approved; (5). life insurance if 15 or over; (6). or if veteran or veteran's spouse (Gen. Oblig. §§3-101, et seq.)
Minors' Ability to Sue Through guardian or parent, adult spouse, guardian ad litem appointed by court or by infant if over 14 (Civ. Prac. L. & R. §1201)
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment If married, parent, pregnant, or in an emergency (Pub. He. §2504)

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

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