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Colorado Legal Ages Laws

Prior to reaching the age of majority, people are known as "minors." When a person reaches the age of majority, they are legally recognized as an adult.

While in most states the age of majority is 18, it's 21 in Colorado. However, most age-related privileges come at the age of 18 in the state.

Continue reading for a breakdown of laws related to age in Colorado.

Laws Related to Age in Colorado

The table below explains some of the legal age laws in Colorado.

Age of Majority & Other Age-Related Rights

  • The age of majority in Colorado is 21.
  • At 21 years old, a person in Colorado can purchase alcohol or tobacco and nicotine products. At this age, they can also enter a casino and buy marijuana products.
  • At 18 years old, a person can purchase lottery tickets, pawn their things, get married without their parents' consent, and vote.
  • At the age of 18, someone is also legally permitted to purchase and possess guns. However, children under 18 can shoot at a gun range and go hunting with a valid license.
  • An 18-year-old is also considered an adult for crimes committed.
  • At 16, a child can marry without the consent of a parent or guardian, if that consent cannot be obtained. In cases where minors at or below this age would like to marry, a court must first attempt to obtain the parents' or guardians' consent. However, if that consent cannot be obtained within a reasonable period of time, the minors wishing to marry may do so regardless of consent from a parent or guardian.
  • Before 15 years old, a child can't consent to sexual activity. Even if it appears as if someone of this age has consented to sexual activity, this is likely to be considered statutory rape.
  • At 12, a child may object to the appointment of a guardian if their parent passes away.
  • Also, at 12, an adoption can't be finalized without the child's consent.

Eligibility for Emancipation

  • Colorado doesn't have an emancipation statute.
  • Emancipation generally occurs when a child reaches the age of majority (21). However, emancipation can occur earlier due to marriage and by entering active duty in the military.

Contracts by Minors

Children can't enter into contracts, or at least be held responsible for upholding their end of a contract, until they are 18 years old.

Minor's Ability to Sue

Children can't sue without a guardian or representative until they reach the age of 18.

Minor's Consent to Medical Treatment

While still a minor, children have some control over what happens to their bodies and health. A child of any age can: It's important to note that a person must be over the age of 18 to obtain information about birth control without parental consent or notification. Colorado's “Parental Notification Act" means that a person can't get an abortion without notifying their parents. They do not need their parents' permission. They only need to notify their parents. In other words, there is a judicial bypass for notification.

Note: State laws change all the time. Please verify the state law(s) you are researching by conducting your own legal research.

Colorado Legal Ages: Additional Resources

For more information related to age-requirements in Colorado law, consider reviewing the following resources:

Need More Help? Contact an Attorney Today

Legal age laws help you understand what you can and cannot do when you are a minor. If you're a minor concerned with your rights under Colorado legal age laws, then you should get legal help from a local family law attorney. An attorney can guide you through the details of the emancipation process or can assist you with other issues that arise under these laws.

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