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Montana Legal Ages Laws

Montana, as do many other states, recognizes 18 years old as the "age of majority," at which point residents are legally considered adults (as opposed to "minors"). But Montana legal ages laws also govern a minor's eligibility for emancipation, the legal capacity for signing a contract or consenting to medical treatment. Also, the legal age for alcohol and tobacco consumption in all states is 21. Any minor petitioning a Montana court for emancipation — that is, being declared an adult in the eyes of the law — must be a Montana resident, 16 years old, and able to support and manage one's own affairs.

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

Montana Age Statutes: At a Glance

The table below highlights some of the main provisions of Montana's legal ages laws. See Emancipation of Minors and Parental Liability Basics for related information.

Age of Majority

18 (M.C.A. § 41-1-101)

Eligibility for Emancipation

  • The authority of the parent ceases, upon the appointment, by a court, of a guardian of the person of a child; upon the marriage of a child; or by upon its attaining majority (M.C.A. § 40-6-234)
  • A youth who is 16 years or older may petition for emancipation and it may be granted if the emancipation is in the youth's best interests (M.C.A. § 41-1-501)

Contracts by Minors

  • Minors may disaffirm contracts before reaching the age of majority or for a reasonable time afterward or in the case of the minor's death within that period (M.C.A. § 41-1-304)
  • Minors may not disaffirm an obligation entered into by the minor under the express authority or when the minor has been granted limited emancipation (M.C.A. § 41-1-306)
  • Minors may not disaffirm contracts to pay the reasonable value of things necessary to support the minor or the minor's family (M.C.A. § 41-1-305)
  • Minors may take out student loans (M.C.A. § 41-1-303)

Minors' Ability to Sue

A minor may enforce their rights by civil action or other legal proceedings in the same manner as a person of full age, except that a guardian shall conduct the action or proceedings (M.C.A. § 41-1-202)

Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment

Yes, if emancipated; separated from parents and self-supporting; pregnant; has a communicable disease, or addicted to alcohol or drugs; has had a child or graduated from high school; needs emergency care (M.C.A. § 41-1-402)

Legal Age for Alcohol, Tobacco, E-cigarettes, and Marijuana Purchase and/or Consumption

21 (M.C.A. Title 16, Chapter 6)

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.

Research the Law

Montana Legal Ages Laws: Related Resources

Next Step: Speak with a Skilled Lawyer

Whether you are looking to file a lawsuit, get emancipated, or get certain types of healthcare, you'll want to know the law in Montana and how it may impact your ability to do any of those things. To learn more about the rights and obligations you have as both a young person and an adult, you should speak with a Montana family law attorney.

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