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North Dakota Legal Ages Laws

Minors are those under the age of 18 (in most states), and therefore lack the rights and responsibilities of adulthood. But while minors do not have quite the same legal status as adults, they still need access to the law every once in a while. State legal age laws address these needs, such as the ability to consent to birth control or drug treatment or to petition the court for emancipation.

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

North Dakota Legal Age Laws: At a Glance

According to North Dakota statute, minors may sue and be sued in a court of law but must be represented by an appointed guardian ad litem. Minors also may consent to emergency medical care, while those 14 and older may consent to drug abuse or treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Additional provisions of North Dakota laws setting legal ages for minors are listed in the following table.

Age of Majority 18 (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-01)
Eligibility for Emancipation

Automatic emancipation occurs upon marriage or upon the child reaching the age of majority (N.D.C.C. § 14-09-20)

Contracts by Minors
  • A person under the age of 18 may not make a contract relating to real property or any interest relating to any personal property that is not in that person's immediate possession or control (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-09)
  • The contract of a minor may be disaffirmed by the minor personally, either before they reach the age of majority or within one year afterward, or in the case of the minor's death (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-11)
  • A minor cannot disaffirm a contract to pay the reasonable value of things necessary for the minor's support or that of the minor's family if the contract was made when the minor wasn't under the care of a parent, guardian, or conservator (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-12)
  • A minor cannot disaffirm an obligation entered into by the minor under the express authority or direction of a statute (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-13)
Minors' Ability to Sue Minors may sue or be sued, but the court must appoint a guardian ad litem (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-04)
Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment
  • Any minor may consent to emergency medical care (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-17.1)
  • Minors 14 or older may consent to treatment for sexually transmitted diseases or substance use disorders without permission, authority, or consent of a parent or guardian (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-17)
  • Minors may receive emergency medical care or forensic services to a minor who is a victim of sexual assault without the consent of their parents or guardians (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-17.1(2))
  • Minors who are pregnant may receive pregnancy testing, pain management, and prenatal care without permission or consent from their parents or guardians (N.D.C.C. § 14-10-19)
Legal Age for Alcohol, Tobacco, or E-cigarette Purchase and/or Consumption 21 (N.D.C.C. § 5-02-06)

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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North Dakota Legal Age Laws: Related Resources

Next Steps: 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 North Dakota 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 adult and an adult, you should speak with a North Dakota family law attorney.

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