Infancy Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Infancy, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Infancy?

It refers to a state of being underage to perform certain acts such as filing a lawsuit or entering into a contract of marriage. Previously the minor or infant age was considered as 21 which has been reduced to 18. If a minor has to file a lawsuit, he.she has to have a guardian.

History and Meaning of Infancy

Infancy is a legal term that denotes the state of being a minor, or someone who has not yet reached the age of majority. In general, infants are considered to be under the age of 18, though this can vary by jurisdiction. The concept of infancy has long been a part of the legal system in Western cultures, with rules and regulations in place to protect young people from making decisions that they are not yet mature enough to handle.

In the past, infants were not considered capable of entering into contracts, filing lawsuits, or making other legal decisions for themselves. Instead, they required the oversight of a guardian or representative who could act in their best interests until they reached adulthood. Over time, the legal system has evolved to better reflect the needs of young people, though the concept of infancy has remained an important part of legal proceedings relating to minors.

Examples of Infancy

  1. In a case where a teenager is involved in a car accident, they may be considered an infant in the eyes of the law and require a guardian to represent them in court.
  2. A child under the age of 18 cannot enter into a legally binding contract without the consent of a parent or legal guardian due to the concept of infancy.
  3. Infancy is often used in criminal cases involving juveniles, as the court will take into account the fact that the accused is not yet fully mature and capable of making the best decisions for themselves.

Legal Terms Similar to Infancy

  1. Age of Majority: The age at which a person is considered to be an adult and legally responsible for their own decisions.
  2. Emancipation: The process by which a minor is legally granted the rights and responsibilities of an adult before they reach the age of majority.
  3. Minor: Someone who has not yet reached the age of majority and is legally classified as a child or young person.