State laws recognize the capacity of individuals to enter into marriage or otherwise make legal decisions, which includes both mental capacity and maturity. Those under the age of majority, or "minors," are considered incapable of such legal decisions. Georgia legal ages laws do not specify at which age a minor is eligible for emancipation from his or her parents, but the state requires individuals to be 18 years old in order to consent to medical treatment or enter into a contract.
The specifics of Georgia legal ages laws are listed in the following table and in the descriptive summary below. See FindLaw's Emancipation of Minors section for additional articles and resources.
|Age of Majority||18 (§39-1-1)|
|Eligibility for Emancipation||Not specified|
|Contracts by Minors||Generally voidable; however, if benefits continue after age of majority, contract is valid (§13-3-20)|
|Minors' Ability to Sue||Through guardian or guardian ad litem (§29-4-7); suit started by infant alone not void but guardian must be appointed before verdict (§9-2-28)|
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment||18 for treatment in general (§31-9-2); if treatment is for VD, minor may consent; female minor has valid consent for treatment in connection with pregnancy|
Age of Majority in Georgia
Georgia's age of majority is 18. When you turn 18, you will gain many of the rights and responsibilities that most other adults have. Some of your new rights include the right to vote, and you will now be able to get credit cards, and purchase cigarettes and other regulated items. You will also have new responsibilities, because your parents are no longer responsible for your actions. If you cause someone harm, you may be sued to pay for their damages. You may also be called to serve on a jury.
Purchasing Alcohol in Georgia
Georgia follows the alcohol laws prescribed by the federal government. If Georgia did not adhere to these laws, it would lose a lot of federal highway funding. So, like all other states in the union, the minimum age to purchase alcohol in Georgia is 21. Georgia, like other states, is a zero tolerance state. This means that if a minor is caught with any amount of alcohol in their system while driving, they get an automatic DUI regardless of the BAC limit of the state for adults 21 and over.
Eligibility for Emancipation in Georgia
Emancipation is when a person under 18 becomes a legal adult. This can happen in a few ways. One of the most common methods is through a court procedure. Emancipation also occurs when the person gets married or enters the armed forces.
Legal Age and Lawsuits
Generally, a person has to be 18 years old to start a lawsuit. If you are not 18, your parent or legal guardian will sue on your behalf. If the lawsuit is over a contract, the terms of the contract might not be enforced against you if you entered into the contract before you turned 18.
Next Steps: Speak with a Skilled Lawyer
Whether you are looking to file a lawsuit, get emancipated, or get certain types of heatlthcare, you'll want to know the law in Georgia and how it may impact your ability to do any of those things. To learn more about the rights and obligations you have as both a young person and an adult, you should speak with a Georgia family law attorney.
Contact a qualified attorney.