The Age of Majority

To those who teach the Craft, it is important to understand the laws of the state in which you reside in regards to the age of majority for that state. You will, no doubt, have those come to you who are under that age and yet wish to be taught. Current laws in the United States make it illegal to interfere with the religious upbringing of a minor without the express consent of the parent or guardian. Since that age varies from state to state and with differing circumstances, the wise teacher will be aware of the laws in his/her state in order to prevent the unfortunate from occurring.


Alabama - 19, No modifications.
Alaska - 18.
Arkansas - 18 or when child graduates from high school.
California - 18; unless child still in high school, then on graduation or 19th birthday which ever occurs first.
Connecticut - 18.
D.C. - 21 years of age, or at the point the minor is self supporting through marriage, employment,
or military service.
Delaware - 18.
Florida - 18.
Georgia - 18.
Hawaii - 18.
Idaho - 18.
Illinois - 18.
Kansas - 18.
Kentucky - 18, 19 if attending high school
Louisiana - 18: unless emancipated earlier by notarial act, marriage or judicial determination: if child is still in high school, then age 19, or upon graduation from high school, whichever occurs first.
Maine - 18.
Maryland - 18.
Massachusetts - 18.
Michigan - 18.
Minnesota - 18. With a person's 18th birthday come most of the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and obligations of adulthood. These rights include the right to vote, the right to make contracts, the right to marry without permission from parents or guardians, the right to purchase a firearm, and the right to serve on a jury.
Mississippi - 21
Montana - 18; or earlier if married, in the military, or fully financially independent of custodial parent.
Nebraska - 19
New Hampshire-Age if Majority: 18 (FULL CIVIL RIGHTS)
New Mexico - 18; however, a 16 year old may be emancipated by having entered into valid marriage or active duty in armed services or by receiving declaration of emancipation pursuant to court petition and order showing he/she is living apart and managing his/her own affairs.
Nevada - 18; 19 if still in high school.
New York - 21; NY has no statute with respect to emancipation*; issue is decided on case-by-case basis; emancipation can take place before 21, if appropriate court so decides
North Carolina - 18
North Dakota - 18
Ohio - 18 or graduated from high school, whichever occurs later.
Oklahoma - 18.
Oregon - 18; 21 if in school half-time or more.
Pennsylvania - 18 and out of high school.
Puerto Rico - 21 years of age, or whenever minor is self-supporting through marriage.
Tennessee - 18; unless child is still in high school; in such cases emancipation occurs when child graduates from high school or when class child is in when he/she reaches age of majority.
Utah - 18, or child graduates with high school graduating class.
Vermont - 18.
Virginia - 18 or a full-time high school student, not self-supporting, and living in the home of the parent, until the child reaches the age of nineteen (19) or graduates from high school, whichever comes first.
Washington - 18, Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, all persons shall be deemed and taken to be of full age for all purposes at the age of eighteen years.
Wisconsin - 18 and graduation from high school, or 19 years of age, whichever is sooner.


Alberta: 18.
British Columbia: 19.
Manitoba: 18.
New Brunswick: 19.
Newfoundland: 19
Northwest Territories: 19.
Nova Scotia: 19.
Ontario: 18.
Prince Edward Island: 18.
Quebec: 18.
Saskatchewan: 18.
Yukon Territories: 19.


WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM "EMANCIPATION"? - In general terms, an emancipation occurs when a minor child is released from the "subjection" of his or her parents. In layman terms, this means one is on his or her own afterwards, and must support oneself thereafter, at least until the emancipation terminates.

Whether or not one is emancipated depends on the particular facts of your situation, including age, marital status, ability to support oneself, desire to live independently, etc.

In Pennsylvania, emancipation is not necessarily a permanent state, and it may change with a change of surrounding conditions. In most states, emancipation is simply a matter of fact. That is, many states allow one to become emancipated simply by declaring oneself emancipated. Other states require a court order or decree. In addition, the age of majority differs between states - some declare minors automatically emancipated at age 18 and others at age 21. You would have to check with a legal authority in the state or province in which you reside to find out more about the laws in your specific area.

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Last Updated January 22, 1999