Delaware Legal Ages Laws
Delaware 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. Delaware 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 18 or older.
In simple terms, this means that a person under the age of majority, 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 Delaware
The Diamond State does not have a emancipation of minors law on its book. Instead, it's decided on a case-by-case basis. While Delaware does not provide a formal procedure for the emancipation of minors, the court may grant a minor's request for emancipation in some rare instances. Generally, a Delaware court may consider a minor emancipated if he or she is:
- At least 16-years-old;
- Living separately from the parents;
- Not relying on parents for living expenses; and
- Able to manage his or her financial affairs.
Minors and Lawsuits in Delaware
When it comes to having the capacity to undertake certain legal actions, Delaware 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 if he or she is under 18-years-old.
|Age of Majority||
18 (1 §701)
|Eligibility for Emancipation||
|Contracts by Minors||
18 (6 §2705)
|Minors' Ability to Sue||
18 (10 §3923)
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment||
|Legal Age for Alcohol Purchase and/or Consumption||21|
Note: Delaware laws are constantly changing--contact a Delaware family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law:
- Delaware Code
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Delaware Legal Ages Laws: Related Resources
- Delaware Marriage Age Requirements Laws
- Juveniles and Age ("Status") Offenses
- Juvenile Justice: Background
- Find a Family Law Attorney
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.