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Nebraska Legal Ages Laws

State laws dictate what age individuals must be to get married, enter contracts, take out student loans, or make other legal decisions. Those under the "age of majority," or minors, are considered incapable of making such decisions in the eyes of the law. The state of Nebraska uniquely recognizes the age of majority as age 19 (only two other states set the limit higher than 18).

As far as emancipation is concerned, the only explicitly stated rationale for being declared an adult in Nebraska is marriage. However, common law controls this process and courts will grant emancipation for good reason, including enlistment in the armed forces or financial independence. Minors may not sue directly but may do so through a guardian or next friend.

This article provides a brief overview of legal age statutes in Nebraska.

Nebraska Age Statutes: At a Glance

Additional provisions of Nebraska laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the following table including the age of majority, eligibility for emancipation, and much more. See FindLaw's Emancipation of Minors section for additional articles and resources.

Age of Majority

19 (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101)

Eligibility for Emancipation

  • A minor may be automatically emancipated by marriage (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101)
  • Upon emancipation, a minor may be able to establish their own residence, incur debt or contractual obligations, consent to medical decisions, enlist in the military, marry without consent, be eligible for public assistance, the litigation and settlement of controversies, enroll in school or college, or acquiring property (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-4810)

Contracts by Minors

  • A person age 18 or older and who is not a ward of the state may enter into a binding contract or lease (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101)
  • Minors over the age of 10 may contract for or with respect to insurance or annuities upon their life or against bodily injury or death by accident or disability from sickness, for the benefit of themselves or their father, mother, husband, wife, brother, or sister (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 44-705)

Minors' Ability to Sue

The action of an infant (or minor) shall be commenced, maintained, and prosecuted by their guardian or next friend; any action taken will be binding upon the infant (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-307)

Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment

  • Emancipated minors (including those attending college away from home) may consent to medical treatment (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-4810)
  • Minors may consent to the treatment or medical care for sexually transmitted diseases (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-504)
  • No person committed under the Tuberculosis Detection and Prevention Act is required to submit to medical or surgical treatment without their consent or, if a minor, without the consent of a parent under the next of kin (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-3609)
Legal Age for Alcohol, Tobacco, or E-cigarette Purchase and/or Consumption 21 (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 53-180.02 and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1418)

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.

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Nebraska Legal Age Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help with Your Questions About Nebraska Legal Ages Laws

Although the legal age laws in Nebraska are fairly simple guidelines, they can still be confusing regarding your rights as a minor concerning consent to medical procedures or your ability to be emancipated. If you're confused and need clarification about these laws, then you should talk to an experienced family law attorney in Nebraska.

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