When you’re a teen, you impatiently await the day you turn 18 and become an adult. So many freedoms come at 18, from buying cigarettes to voting. While many feel this means you can do anything you want without anyone telling you not too, in reality, you’ll likely always be pressured by family and friends into doing (or not doing) certain things.
Fortunately, there are some exciting milestones for youths in Maine from 16 when you can get a juvenile provisional license to 21 when you can finally legally drink in Maine. Most years bring some type of new right or privilege. For example, at 19 you can drink alcohol in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but at 18 you can drink in Montreal and the rest of Quebec.
Minors and the Law in Maine
The chart below lists and briefly explains some of Maine’s basic legal ages laws.
|Age of Majority
||The age of majority, or age at which you are considered a legal adult in Maine, is 18.
|Eligibility for Emancipation
||You can be automatically emancipated by getting married. If you marry under the age of 18, which requires parental permission, then you’ll be treated as an adult.
You can also petition for emancipation if you’re at least 16 or 17 years old. The Maine District Court will assign a lawyer to represent you for free in this process.
|Contracts by Minors
||Minors can’t be held responsible for contracts they entered into, unless the minor or an authorized person ratifies it at or after the age of 18. However, a minor will owe for any necessaries, such as food, shelter, or clothing, as well as any real estate he or she has title to and receives its benefit.
Also, if a minor enters a contract for student loans for higher education, then the contract is valid.
|Minors’ Ability to Sue
||Under Maine Rules of Civil Procedure 17(b), a minor or incapacitated adult must sue and defend himself or herself through a guardian, conservator, parent, “next friend,” or guardian ad litem.
|Minors’ Consent to Medical Treatment
||Minors can consent to all medical, mental health, dental, or other health services if married, emancipated, in the military, or living apart from his or her parents. The minor will be financially responsible for the costs of care.
Otherwise, minors may consent to substance abuse and mental health treatment, as well as consent to a sexual assault forensic examination. At 17 years old, minors can consent to donate blood.
Note: State laws are updated all the time. It’s best to contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these state laws.
Research the Law