11/05/17 Age of Capacity | Age of Consent | Age of Majority | Age of Reason
Do they all mean the same?
Although they sound similar, all these phrases have developed separate doctrinal meanings; be careful to use the right one.
- Age of capacity is the age at which one may take legal action, such as signing a contract, writing a will, or bringing a lawsuit.
- Age of consent is the age at which one can agree to marry or to have sexual relations.
- Age of majority is the age at which the law considers one an adult and entitled to legal rights (beyond those of the age of capacity), such as voting.
- Age of reason is the age at which one is considered to know right from wrong, and so may be sued in tort or charged with a crime.