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Can My 13-year-old Sign a Contract?

No, but it also depends. In all states you need to be at least 18 years old to sign a contract.

A child under the age of 18 is considered a minor and is unable to sign a contract unless it is for essential items, such as food, clothing, or lodging. Otherwise, the minor must have a parent or guardian's consent to the contract in order for it to be legally binding.

If your minor has signed a contract for a non-essential item without your approval, the contract is not valid. You can contact the business and have the contract voided. The retailers must accept the return of the items regardless of their return policy, since they violated the state's law in allowing the minor to sign the contract in the first place. If your minor has signed a contract and the merchant is refusing to cancel the contact, contact an attorney for assistance.

Based on the minimum-age violation alone, most attorneys can send a simple letter to the merchant that will be sufficient warning for them to cancel the contract.

If your child is emancipated--meaning the court has awarded a minor adult status--then their contract is considered valid. Also if the child went to great lengths to make it appear that they were 18, such as producing a false identification card, then the court may decide that the contract us binding despite the child's legal age as a minor.

A child is unable to sign a contract unless it is for essential items, such as food, clothing, or lodging