The age of majority is 18 in nearly every U.S. state, the point at which individuals are considered adults in the eyes of the law and subject to all associated rights and responsibilities. In addition, state laws determine limits and rules for children under 18 who need access to certain legal processes. For instance, children as young as 16 (in most states) who are able prove they can live apart from their parents independently may seek to be "emancipated" from them. Emancipated minors have the legal rights and responsibilities of adults.
State laws also determine the age at which a child must consent to certain medical treatments, enter into legal contracts, sue in a court of law, and other legal processes.
Legal Ages Under Arkansas Statute
As in most states, the age of majority in Arkansas is 18; however, a child as young as 16 may petition the court for emancipation (see below for more details about emancipation). Minors may file a lawsuit with the assistance of a next friend (court appointment) or guardian (parent or legal guardian).
Additional provisions of Arkansas laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the following table.
|Age of Majority||18 (§9-25-101)|
|Eligibility for Emancipation||16 (§9-26-104)|
|Contracts by Minors||Rescission by infant 18 or over permitted only upon full restitution; promise made after full age to pay debt contracted during infancy must be in writing (§§9-26-101; 4-59-101)|
|Minors' Ability to Sue||Next friend or guardian|
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment||Any minor who is married, emancipated, incarcerated, or sufficiently intelligent to understand consequences of consent (§20-9-602)|
Note: State laws may change at any time, usually through the enactment of new statutes but sometimes through higher court decisions or other means. Be sure to contact an Arkansas family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Getting Emancipated as a Minor in Arkansas
Arkansas statute allows for the "removal of disability of a minor," or emancipation, for those 16 and older. But in order to qualify, you must be able to prove that your parents don't mind if you move out; that you can support yourself financially (and legally); that you are mature enough to live independently; and that it would be in your best interest.
Research the Law
Arkansas Legal Age Laws: Related Resources
Talk to an Attorney about Age Laws Issues
If you are under 18 and want to be emancipated or need other assistance with age laws, then you should talk to an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you get started with the emancipation process or can give you assistance regarding your rights to sue or to consent to medical treatment.
Contact a qualified attorney.