Infancy

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Infancy

Minority; the status of an individual who is below the legal age of majority.

At Common Law, the age of legal majority was twenty-one, but it has been lowered to eighteen in most states of the United States. Infancy indicates the condition of an individual who is legally unable to do certain acts. For example, an infant might not have the legal capacity to enter into certain contracts. Similarly, infancy is a ground for Annulment of a marriage in certain jurisdictions.

Although many states have lowered the age of majority for most purposes to eighteen, they frequently retain the right to mandate support of a child by a parent beyond that age in the aftermath of Divorce.

infancy

n. although the popular use of the word means the early years of age up to seven, in law, it is under-age or minority. Historically this meant under 21 years, but statutes adopted in almost all states end minority and infancy at 18. An "infant" cannot file a lawsuit without a "guardian ad litem" (one purpose guardian) acting for him/her, in most states cannot marry without parental permission, and cannot enter into a contract that is enforceable during his/her minority. (See: minority)

See: beginning, birth, nascency, nonage, onset, origination, outset, start

INFANCY. The state or condition of a person under tho age of twenty-one years. Vide Infant.