Last updated 01/06/2020
Legal rights and responsibilities generally apply to people who have reached the age of majority -- 18 in most states -- at which you are considered an adult. But states also designate additional legal age limits for certain legal processes that apply to minors. Under Washington's legal age laws, minors may petition the court for emancipation at age 16 and minors may file lawsuits at age 14 with a court-appointed guardian or through a relative or friend who is 18 or older.
Washington state allows minors 16 and older to petition to court for emancipation. To be emancipated means taking on the rights and responsibilities of an adult, which otherwise comes with reaching the age of majority (18). The process requires payment of a fee of up to $50, and petitioners (those seeking to become emancipated) must provide the court with the following information:
The Washington Courts website provides emancipation court forms for download (in .doc format).
|Age of Majority||
18 (§26.28.010, et seq.))
|Eligibility for Emancipation||
By judicial petition at age 16 (§13.64.010, et seq.)
|Contracts by Minors||
Bound for contracts for necessities; other contracts valid unless disaffirmed within reasonable time after reaching age of majority and restitution where possible of consideration (26.28.030, et seq.)
|Minors' Ability to Sue||
By guardian; if 14 or over may apply himself for court-appointed guardian; if under 14 application must be made to court through relative or friend (4.08.050)
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment||
|Other Activities That Have Age Limits|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Many aspects of family life -- including the ability to become emancipated from one's parents -- have certain age restrictions and age-related regulations. Knowing how the law applies to your particular situation will help you make the right choices. Get started by finding an experienced attorney near you.
Contact a qualified attorney.