age of majority

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The age of majority refers to the age at which an individual will be legally considered an adult. It is the age at which one will be subject to the full legal rights and responsibilities of an adult, including the right to vote, the right to join the military or the right to sign a contract. After reaching the age of majority, one will become fully responsible for their own actions, contractual obligations and other undertakings. Parental duties of support will also cease. 

The age of majority differs from country to country. In most countries, the age of majority is 18. In the US, most states have set the age of majority at 18. However, there are a few exceptions, including: 

  • In Alabama the age of majority is 19. This was affirmed in the case of Campbell v. Campbell
  • In Nebraska, the age of majority is also 19. This is set out under §43-2101
  • In Mississippi, the age of majority is 21. This is codified under the Mississippi Code title 1, S1-3-27

It is important to note that the age of majority does not necessarily conflate with the drinking age, smoking age, driving age, voting age, age of sexual consent, marriageable age etc. These will also vary from state by state and country by country.

See also: Age of consent

[Last updated in November of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]