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North Carolina Legal Ages Laws

Legal Ages Laws in General

All states have a designated age at which residents legally become adults, 18 in most states. But there are certain procedures and events in a minor's life that require a certain amount of autonomy. For instance, it may be in a teenage girl's best interest to receive birth control services without obtaining parental consent. Also, many states have legal procedures by which minors may become emancipated from their parents. An emancipated adult is someone under the age of majority who is declared an adult in the eyes of the law.

North Carolina Legal Ages Law at a Glance

North Carolina recognizes 18 as the "age of majority," or the age at which state residents are legally considered adults, as do most other states. But state laws also govern a minor's eligibility to become emancipated, give consent to medical treatment, and other legal matters. North Carolina legal ages laws allow minors as young as 16 petition the court for emancipation and may enter into a contract to pay for college tuition if 17 or older. Also, minors may consent to medical care for certain procedures, such as pregnancy and drug abuse treatment.

The following table highlights some of North Carolina's legal ages laws. See Emancipation of Minors and Parental Liability Basics to learn more.

Age of Majority 18 (48A-2)
Eligibility for Emancipation Upon marriage or becoming 18; may petition court if 16 or over (§7B-3500 et seq.)
Contracts by Minors Voidable subject to making restitution at common law; if 17 or over, may enter into contract to finance higher education; may be ratified by silence after 3 years subsequent to age of majority
Minors' Ability to Sue By guardian, testamentary guardian, guardian ad litem  
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment VD, pregnancy, drug abuse, or emotional disturbance; any emancipated minor may consent to medical, dental, or health treatment for himself or child (§90-21.5)

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly signed legislation but sometimes through higher court decisions or other means. You may want to contact a North Carolina family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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North Carolina Legal Ages Laws: Related Resources

Got Questions? Find a North Carolina Family Law Attorney Near You

It can sometimes be confusing when trying to determine whether a certain legal restriction or privilege applies to you due to your age, whether you're seeking emancipation or need advice about managing your money. Usually, your best option is to speak with an attorney. Find a North Carolina family law attorney near you today.

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