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Ohio Legal Ages Laws

Most states have different age limits for different types of legal transactions, such as the ability to enter into a contract or file a lawsuit. However, Ohio legal ages laws do not provide specific ages for a number of these. For instance, Ohio law doesn't state the ages at which a minor is eligible for emancipation or able to provide legal consent to medical treatment.

However, Ohio law does indirectly provide for the emancipation of minors in some limited situations. While there is no statutory language specifically defining emancipation, Ohio courts will consider it on a case-by-case basis. But unlike in many other states, there is no legal process by which a minor may petition the court to become emancipated.

Minors (those under the age of 18) must prove that they can assume adult responsibilities and financially support themselves, but there must be some act or ommission on the part of the parents. Usually, emancipation arises out of child support cases. And if you get married prior to reaching 18, the court may be more likely to emancipate you. 

Minors in Ohio generally cannot provide consent to most medical procedures and must seek the consent of a parent or legal guardian instead. But the state allows so-called "mature minors," those 15 and older who are able to show a doctor that they have enough understanding to make such decisions on their own.

The following table lists the various provisions of Ohio's legal age laws. See Emancipation of Minors Basics and Parental Liability Basics for related information.

Age of Majority 18 (§§3109.01)
Eligibility for Emancipation Not specified
Contracts by Minors Voidable; may be disaffirmed at infancy or within reasonable time after age of majority; exception for necessaries (common law)
Minors' Ability to Sue Through personal representative or otherwise may sue by next friend or defend by guardian ad litem; minor not represented must have court appoint guardian ad litem (R. Civ. Pro. 17(B))
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment Not specified

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

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