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Massachusetts Legal Ages Laws

As do most other states, Massachusetts recognizes 18 as the "age of majority." This is the age when state residents are legally considered adults. There are other legal age laws, however, that give minors the ability to be emancipated, give consent to medical treatment, and perform other legal matters usually reserved for adults.

The following article highlights some of Massachusetts's legal age laws. For additional related information, consider reviewing FindLaw's "Emancipation of Minors" and "Parental Liability Basics."

Age of Majority

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 231, section 85P, the age of majority is 18.

Eligibility for Emancipation

No statute in Massachusetts explicitly addresses emancipation. However, minors can be emancipated through marriage in Massachusetts.

Contracts by Minors

  • Under Massachusetts General Laws § 231 & § 850, only those 18 years of age and older possess the full legally-assigned abilities to enter into most contracts and engage in all parts of having a contract.
  • However, under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 175 Section 113K, a minor 16 years of age or older may enter into a contract for motor vehicle liability insurance.
  • Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 175 Section 128, a minor 15 years of age or older may enter into contracts for life insurance.

Minors' Ability to Sue

  • Under the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure, a minor may file a lawsuit with the assistance of a “next friend," representative, or guardian ad litem.
  • In cases where the minor is a person protected by an emergency protective order and the proceeding involves the perpetrator against whom the order has been sought, a minor does not need to appear in court. In the minor's place, a next friend, representative, or guardian ad litem may appear.

Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment

  • Under M.G.L.A.112 § 12F, the consent of a patient that is a minor or the consent of that patient's parents or guardian is not required under emergency circumstances where delaying a treatment would cause irreparable harm.
  • Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, section 12E, a minor 12 years of age or older may consent to medical care related to substance abuse.

State laws are constantly changing. Contact a Massachusetts family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the status of Massachusetts legal age laws.

Research the Law:

Consider reviewing the following for more information about laws in Massachusetts, including those related to age:

  • At Massachusetts Law, you'll find links to all laws of the state, including those related to age.
  • At Official State Codes, you'll find links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Related Resources for Legal Age Laws:

Consider reviewing the following, as well, for more information about laws and legal issues related to age:

Need More Help? Contact an Attorney Today

If you're in the midst of a legal process like emancipation or even just facing any legal issue related to age, you might want to contact a qualified family law attorney near you. They can help you with all legal issues related to legal age laws.

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