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Vermont Legal Ages Laws

The state of Vermont law dictates that any individual under the age of 18 years old is considered a minor and that in many circumstances is not capable of giving informed consent in most circumstances. This is also known as the "legal age" or "age of majority."

In simple terms, this means that a person under 18 years of age, needs parent/guardian permission before he or she can do many things such as enter into a legally binding contract. Once he or she is 18, permission is no longer needed. There are several important exceptions to this, as noted below.

Emancipation of Minors in Vermont

Vermont law allows for the emancipation of minors in certain circumstances. Only a judge can order that you are emancipated. To become emancipated formally, you have to prove ALL of these things:

  • You are at least 16 years old;
  • You have lived separate from your parents,
    custodian, or legal guardian for three (3) months or longer;
  • You are responsible enough to live on your own, and understand your rights as an adult;
  • You are managing your own financial
    affairs;
  • You either hold a high school diploma or that you are earning a passing grade in an education program
    approved by the court and directed toward the earning of a high school diploma or it equivalent; and
  • Emancipation will be in your best interest.

Minors and Lawsuits in Vermont

When it comes to having the capacity to undertake certain legal actions, Vermont law allows a minor to file a lawsuit to enforce his or her rights -- although a guardian must conduct the actual lawsuit for the minor.

The table below highlights some of the main provisions of Vermont's legal ages laws. See Emancipation of Minors and Parental Liability Basics for related information.

Age of Majority 18 (1§173)
Eligibility for Emancipation

Yes

Contracts by Minors

Voidable, subject to making restitution where possible (common law)

Minors' Ability to Sue

By representative, next friend, or guardian ad litem (V.R.C.P. 17(b))

Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment

Minors 12 years of age and older may give informed consent for treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, drug dependence, and alcohol abuse.

If a minor requires hospitalization for treatment of any of these conditions, the parents must be notified of the hospitalization. (18§4226).

Legal Age for Alcohol Purchase and/or Consumption 21 years old

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

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