A minor is anyone younger than the age of majority (18 in most states) and thus not considered an adult. But upon reaching the age of majority, or becoming emancipated from one's parents, an individual is an adult in the eyes of the law.
Legally, an adult is an individual subject to all of the privileges and responsibilities that come with adulthood. For instance, adults may purchase cigarettes, but they also may be sued in a court of law or drafted into the military. An emancipated minor is one who has been deemed by the court to have the means and the maturity to live apart from one's parents or legal guardians and support one's self. Children seeking emancipation also must have a place to live and a source of legal income.
While minors have limited privileges and responsibilities, they still need access to the law every once in a while. State legal age laws address these needs, such as the ability to consent to birth control or drug treatment, or to petition the court for emancipation.
Alaska Legal Age Laws at a Glance
As in most other states, the age of majority in Alaska is 18. Minors may not directly sue in Alaska courts, only through a proxy such as a guardian ad litem or next friend. Children as young as 16 may petition the court for emancipation by submitting an explanation of why "removal" (from parents' home) would be in the minor's best interests and the main reason for seeking emancipation.
Additional provisions of Alaska laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the following table.
|Age of Majority||18 (§25.20.010)|
|Eligibility for Emancipation||16 (§09.55.590)|
|Contracts by Minors||May receive and give full discharge and acquittance for insurance payments up to $3000 if 16 or over (§21.42.290)|
|Minors' Ability to Sue||By representative, guardian ad litem, or next friend (CR 17(c))|
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment||If living apart from parents or if parent of child, minor may give own consent (§25.20.025)|
Note: State laws are subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly signed laws but sometimes through higher court decisions and other means. You should contact an Alaska family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Alaska Legal Age Laws: Related Resources
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