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Connecticut Legal Ages Laws

A minor is anyone under the age of majority. Anyone under the age of majority is not considered an adult. The age of majority in the state of Connecticut is 18 years old. 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 speaking, an adult is an individual subject to all privileges and responsibilities that come with adulthood.

For instance, adults may participate in the lottery, but they also may be sued in a court of law or drafted into the military. An emancipated minor is a minor who has been deemed by the court to have the means and maturity to live apart from their parents or legal guardians. They are also deemed capable of supporting and taking care of themselves. Children seeking emancipation must have a place to live and a legal source of income.

While minors have limited privileges and responsibilities, they still need to access the law every once in a while. State legal age laws address these needs, such as the ability to consent to and access birth control or drug treatments, or to petition the court for emancipation.

This article provides a brief overview of legal age statutes in the state of Connecticut.

Connecticut Age Statutes: At a Glance

The Connecticut General Statutes sections regarding Connecticut laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the chart below. You can also visit FindLaw's Family Law section for additional articles and information on this topic.

Age of Majority

Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-1d, the age of majority is 18.

Eligibility for Emancipation

Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-150, any minor that is 16 years of age or older is eligible for emancipation.

Contracts by Minors

Under the state's common law, minors' contracts are voidable at the option of the minor or unenforceable against them unless ratified by the minor after attaining the age of majority.

Minors' Ability to Sue

Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-150d, anyone that is 18 or older or who has been emancipated may file a lawsuit. Under the same statute, a guardian or next friend can file a lawsuit on a minor's behalf.

Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment

  • Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19a-216, physicians may examine for, test, or treat sexually transmitted diseases in a minor, while the consent of the parents or guardians is not required for medical care.
  • Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-688, minors may consent to treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol or drug dependence.
  • Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 19a-14c, physicians may provide outpatient mental health treatment to a minor without a parent's or guardian's consent, under the following circumstances:
  1. If requiring consent would cause the minor to reject the treatment,
  2. If providing the treatment is "clinically indicated,"
  3. If the failure to provide treatment would be seriously detrimental to the minor's well-being,
  4. If the minor has knowingly and voluntarily sought treatment, and
  5. In the medical care provider's opinion, the minor is mature enough to participate in a treatment productively.

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.

Legal Responsibilities of Minors and Parents

There is a legal process by which a minor can become an adult in the eyes of the law, referred to as the emancipation of a minor. While Connecticut sets the standard age of majority at 18, emancipation can allow a minor to be responsible for their own well-being and make all their own decisions regarding school, healthcare, and other matters. Until they are emancipated or turn 18, juveniles normally will be treated as juveniles in criminal cases, including age and status offenses.

Connecticut Legal Ages Laws: Related Resources

Talk to an Attorney About Your Legal Age Questions

Whether you are a minor considering emancipation from your parents or have age-related questions about other legal processes, talking to an attorney is the best way to find answers to all your questions.

Get started today by reaching out to a Connecticut family law attorney in your area.

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