A minor is anyone younger than the age of majority (18 in most states) and thus not considered an adult. But upon reaching the age of majority, or becoming emancipated from one's parents, an individual is an adult in the eyes of the law.
Legally, an adult is an individual subject to all of the privileges and responsibilities that come with adulthood. For instance, adults may purchase cigarettes, but they also may be sued in a court of law or drafted into the military. An emancipated minor is one who has been deemed by the court to have the means and the maturity to live apart from one's parents or legal guardians and support one's self. Children seeking emancipation also must have a place to live and a legal source of income.
While minors have limited privileges and responsibilities, they still need access to the law every once in a while. State legal age laws address these needs, such as the ability to consent to birth control, drug treatment, or to petition the court for emancipation.
The following article provides a brief overview of legal age statutes in the state of Alaska.
Alaska Legal Age Laws: At a Glance
As in most other states, the age of majority in Alaska is 18. Minors may not directly sue in Alaska courts, only through a proxy such as a guardian ad litem or next friend. Children as young as 16 may petition the court for emancipation by submitting an explanation of why "removal" (from their parent's home) would be in the minor's best interests and the main reason for seeking emancipation.
Additional provisions of Alaska laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the following table. You can also visit FindLaw's Family Law section for additional articles and information on this topic.
Age of Majority
|18 (A.S. § 25.20.010)
Eligibility for Emancipation
|16 (A.S. § 09.55.590)
Contracts by Minors
|May receive and give full discharge and acquittance for insurance payments up to $3,000 if 16 or over; must be life insurance or annuity (A.S. § 21.42.290)
Minors' Ability to Sue
|By representative, guardian ad litem, or next friend (Alaska R. Civ. P. 17)
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment
|If living apart from their parents or if the parent of a child, the minor may give their own consent; minors may also give consent for medical and dental services if the parent or legal guardian of the minor cannot be contacted or if contacted, are unwilling to grant or withhold consent; minors may also give consent for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of pregnancy and for the diagnosis and treatment of venereal disease (A.S. § 25.20.025)
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.
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Alaska Legal Age Laws: Related Resources
Talk to an Attorney About Your Legal Age Questions
Whether you are a minor seeking emancipation from your parents or have age-related questions about other legal matters, talking to an attorney about your situation is the best way to get the answers you are seeking.
Get started today by reaching out to an Alaska family law attorney near you.