We all know it to be true. A teenaged boy with facial hair can look old enough to buy a case of beer. A mature-looking teenaged girl can look old enough to get into a nightclub. But in the end, the age of majority is the final arbiter. That is where the legal system draws the line between minors and adults. Here's a brief summary of legal age laws in Wyoming.
Age of Majority in Wyoming
Most states, including Wyoming, have minor laws that state that 18 is the "age of majority," which is the age at which a citizen is considered an adult in the eyes of the law. And this is the crucial distinction. How mature or older looking a minor appears or acts is of no relevance. The law draws no quarter when it comes to minors: they remain minors until the day of their 18th birthday.
Wyoming Age Statutes
Legal ages in Wyoming are highlighted in the chart below.
|Age of Majority||18 (§14-1-101)|
|Eligibility for Emancipation||Through marriage, military service, or at age 17 if living separate, apart from parents; parents consent to living arrangement; minor deemed capable of handling financial affairs; and income is lawfully derived (14-1-201, et seq.)|
|Contracts by Minors||Not specified|
|Minors' Ability to Sue||General guardian, committee, conservator; otherwise by next friend or guardian ad litem, (Wy Rule of Civil Proc. 17(c))|
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment||Yes if married, military, guardian can't be located, or living apart and self-supporting or is emancipated (14-1-101)|
Legal Responsibilities of Minors and Parents
There is a legal process, called the emancipation of a minor, by which a minor can become an adult in the eyes of the law. Although the age of majority in Wyoming is 18, emancipation can allow for a minor at age 17 to be responsible for his or her own decisions regarding school, healthcare, and other matters. In most cases, until they are emancipated or they turn 18, juveniles will normally be treated as such in criminal cases, including age and status offenses.
Wyoming Legal Ages Laws: Related Resources
State laws regulating legal ages are subject to change. If you would like legal assistance with a juvenile case or a family law matter, you can contact a Wyoming family law attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's Family Law section for more articles and resources.
Contact a qualified attorney.