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A person who has reached the age of majority. This age is usually 18, but may be 17 in criminal cases or 21 in other cases. An adult is legally permitted to enter a contract, do business, or conduct any other activity without permission or countersignature by a parent or guardian


One who has gained the age of majority, usually 18 or 21 depending on the state. Sometimes, younger people can take legal steps to remove the “disabilities of nonage,” after which they will be treated as legal adults even though under the requisite age. Only adults have the legal capacity to enter into contracts or sell property. Minors may own real estate, but, because of the inability to enter contracts, they cannot effectively manage it, obtain a mortgage, or sell the property. If such actions should prove necessary, the child's legal guardian will usually have to ask a court for permission for the proposed action.The court will then appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child's interests, in case the guardian has a conflict of interest or clouded judgment.

References in periodicals archive ?
K EAP market moves slowly but inexorably from adolescence into early adulthood.
Again, many of these studies suggest that the analysis of behavior in early adulthood could be key to disentangling the role of smoking, drinking coffee, and personality traits on the occurrence of PD.
It is estimated that 45 million people in the United States have acne, which is the most common skin disorder of adolescence and early adulthood (ages 15-24 years) with a prevalence of approximately 85%.
From her early adulthood, the New Jersey native confronts personal and professional challenges head on: going off to college in Boston and jetting off to the Caribbean for her first professional job.
What: Miniseries about Julius Caesar, from early adulthood to his infamous slaying.
In Raising a Daughter, Jeanne and Don Elium address these challenges and guide parents through each stage of a girl's development, from infancy through middle childhood, the teen years, and early adulthood.
Satyabrata Nandi at the University of California, Berkeley, examining the reduced risk of breast cancer following full-term pregnancy in early adulthood.
The dissent, written by now-chief justice William Rehnquist, compared homosexuality to measles and declared that the "danger" posed by gay student groups "may be particularly acute in the university setting where many students are still coping with sexual problems which accompany late adolescence and early adulthood.
A: Steroids create high levels of hormones that wouldn't naturally occur until early adulthood.
In early adulthood people worry about finishing school, starting a job, career choices, starting a family, paying bills, finding day care, improving life-status, finding time for family and work, health of parents and parents-in-law.
Violent behavior typically peaks during the late teens, then drops off sharply in early adulthood.
The condition eventually stabilizes in early adulthood.