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Legal Adulthood: The Benefits And Consequences Of Turning 18

Most people know that in Illinois the age of majority is 18, but it is not always clear exactly what becoming a legal adult really means. In fact, it means that you are both permitted to do more and more is expected of you.

Rights Enjoyed by Adults

As you would expect, becoming a legal adult means that you have a number of new rights, including:

* The right to vote. Although the ability to exercise this right requires registration, most adults can vote.

* The right to make a binding contract. Examples of contracts people enter into every day include apartment leases, loan agreements (such as a car loan or a student loan), and agreements with credit-card issuers.

* The right to sue for wrongs done to you in your own name.

* The right to seek and obtain medical treatment without the consent of your parents. As an adult, it is presumed that you are capable of making informed decisions about your health.

Responsibilities of Adulthood

Along with these new rights come new responsibilities. For example: Your parents are no longer legally responsible for supporting you. Get a job!

Just as you now have the right to sue others in your own name, they now have the right to sue you. This can include a suit for child support because, as an adult, you have the legal obligation to support any child you help bring into the world.

If you are called, you may have to serve on a jury. Although some people see jury duty as a chore to be avoided, our courts, both civil and criminal, would not work without juries.

If you are a male, you must register for the draft. If you are over 18, you can enlist in the military without your parents' permission.

Other Important Ages

A person over the age of 17 who commits a crime will be charged as an adult. Therefore, by the time you turn 18, you have already been an adult for over a year in regard to being charged with a crime.

Illinois prohibits people under the age of 21 from drinking alcohol or possessing alcohol in a public place. Therefore, even though you are an adult for most purposes, you still cannot legally drink for another three years.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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