bob asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 9 months ago

Can a 16 year old CREATE a contract and have it be enforceable in court?

9 Answers

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  • 9 months ago

    No. A 16 year old can't sue anyone.

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  • Athena
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Yes, but they cannot legally sign or enter into it.

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      False.

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  • 9 months ago

    Contrary to the most widespread myth in law, minors CAN legally enter into legally binding contracts of ANY kind adults can enter in both the US and the UK.

    However, the minor can unilaterally disavow many types of contract until they reach the age of majority. That means the contracts are binding on everyone, with the POSSIBLE exception of the minor.

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  • 9 months ago

    Yes, in very special circumstances. It has to be for a life-essential subject. Like in a grocery store, you (age 16) put some food on the check-out counter ... you are offering an implicit contract to buy the groceries, and the store is offering to sell you the food, and they are implicitly saying that it is fit for consumption. If you run off with the food, or pay with a bad credit card, that is not only thief, it is a violation of the buyer-seller contract.

    Or if you check into a cheap hotel, that's a contract that you will pay in the morning. Sleeping under a roof is (generally) an essential life necessity. But renting a room in a $500/night hotel is not essential. Renting an apartment, on the other hand, is a contract for FUTURE days, and that's not regarded as necessary to today's life.

    Many contracts by minors are enforceable against the adult side, but not the minor's side. That's why rational adults avoid contracts with minors, it's too one-sided against the adult. Cell-phone service contracts, for example, are not enforceable against a minor, but the minor can enforce it against the company.

    The laws on this vary from place to place, just like all laws.

    • STEVEN F
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      Your answer is the closest as of when I read them. You are WRONG that is has to be for anything essential. That is merely the requirement for the contract to be enforceable against the minor. Your statement about 'one sided' contracts is the proof that minors CAN be a party to any type of contract.

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  • Clive
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Not if the legal age of adulthood is higher than 16. You could write one, but it will certainly not be enforceable. You need an adult to join in and take legal responsibility or nobody in their right mind would sign any such contract. Until you're at the legal age of adulthood, your parents are responsible for anything you do and you can't do it on your own.

    This reminds me of where my parents worked. Frank Taylor, aged 16, decided to build two houses, one for his family and the other to sell, went to a bank for a loan to buy the materials, and of course they said no, you can't have one because you're not 21 (the age of legal adulthood at the time). We can't sue you if you don't make the repayments. His uncle, Jack Woodrow, agreed to join in and be a "sleeping partner" in case of anything going legally wrong. Oh OK then, you can have the loan, And he made his first house sale.

    Right, Frank knew how to build houses, there was a big demand for housing back then, and the company Taylor Woodrow grew big. And once Frank was 21, thanks uncle, I can do it all on my own now. The company built other things too, including nuclear power stations and most of London Heathrow Airport.

    Big oaks from little acorns grow... they did for Frank, and I wouldn't be here without him! My parents met in the head office. And I worked there too in university summer vacations - Dad's department needed an intelligent typist to enter data into a database they were making, the secretaries didn't seem to understand that it's not the same as typing letters, "Clive can do it" and I made some money.

    That could be you - but for now, you'll have to be young Frank and get an adult to support you.

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      The contract is not unenforceable simply because it was created by a minor. Perhaps not enforceable by the minor, in person, and certainly not against the minor. But that's not what he asked.

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  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    No. A contract is CREATED when it is signed by both parties. Someone who is under age cannot sign a contract.

    A 16 year old could write a contract, but that's not what you asked.

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      Minors sign contracts on a regular basis. There is no law saying they cannot.

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  • 9 months ago

    Nope. Your state has minimum age for a contract. It is determined by how old they think you should be to have enough sense to understand what you are getting yourself into. If you are younger than the minimum age, no one will contract with you because you are not legally obligated. You can change your mind and the contract is unenforceable. That age is probably 18 or 21. That is what parents are for until you get old enough.

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  • Brian
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    You can create it. You cannot be a party to it.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Brian
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      The US of A. Perhaps you've heard of us. I don't know what the rules are in your s h i t hole country.

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  • Rick
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    they can WRITE one but they can't legally SIGN one ......................................

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      There is no law that prevents a minor from signing a contract.

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