Friday, November 19, 2010

Contracts by Minors

Nov 18, 2010 Proscovia Undisa

Contract - 1

Contract - 1

Contracts by Minors

Human nature is sometimes characterized with dishonesty, malice, breaking of promises, disowning obligation and so on. These are some of the factors that compel people to get into contracts; in fact millions of contracts are entered into daily all over the world. A contract is a legal agreement between two or more people. A contract is enforceable by the law, thus is has to follow certain guidelines set by the law. As described “ a contract of sale as is the contract by which two parties promise one another respectively, the one to transfer a thing, the other to pay a determinate price for that thing”( Quin and Elliot,2006 p.1)

One of the factors that make a contract enforceable by law and valid is the age of those getting into the contract. The law stipulates that minors are not eligible of getting into contract. Thus any one who gets into a contract with a minor may be doing so at their own peril as such contracts are void. A minor is any one under the age of 18 years although this age differs fro one country to another; such a person is not yet in a capacity of understanding the elements of a contract.

However there are some exceptions to such contracts, for example if the contract is a sports or entertainment one, a contract entailing necessity products like food, shelter, clothing or a lodging, in case the minor want to void the contract it should be in totality and not part of it, and lastly ratification where a minor can only void a contract when he /she is still a minor but on reaching maturity such a contract cannot be nullified (Moyle, 2009).

A minor has the right to return a good or product if he/she chooses and asks for full refund because the contract of sale that was entered into was not valid because of their age. Thus the seller should give full refund to the minor. However as explained above ,there are exemptions o such refunds ,if the sale was on a sport or entertainment product, a necessity .In addition ,the minor should return the whole product and not parts of it and lastly, the minor should still be holding the status of a minor.

The contract whether in written form or verbal as per most fast sales contracts, it still remain void and thus not enforceable by law. Most sellers have fallen prey to such contracts due to a number of reasons, one of them is that some minors may be looking like adults and thus hard to tell if they are at all minors. Secondly, the business life I busy and most sellers do not have the time to find out if the buyer is a minor. Alternatively there those sellers who take advantage of the minor simply because all that they care about is making a sale. Minors should not be held responsible for any contract they enter in to; in addition, they cannot be accused on the basis of being ignorant. Minors are not yet in a position to fully understand the law and thus should not be compared to adults (Moyle, 2009).


Quinn, F & Elliot C. (2007) Contract Law. Pearson Longman

Moyle, J.B. (2009).Contracts. BiblioBazaar, LLC

Emanuel, S.L. (2006).Contract Law. Aspen Publishers Online

Copyright Proscovia Undisa. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

  • Contract - 1

    Contract - 1

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