Lesson 6: Rights and Responsibilities of Minors
If you are under the age of 18 in Alberta, you are considered a minor -a person who has not yet reached the age of majority.
Age of majority : the age at which a person can undertake legal obligations (in Alberta, 18)
1. The right to an education
If you're between the ages of 6 and 18 in Alberta, you have the right to an education. Generally, you must attend school until you reach the age of 16. The rights and responsibilities of a student are contained in Alberta's School Act , which outlines provisions related to your education.
Your guardian or your parents have the responsibility to see that you attend school regularly, but the teachers, principals, and other school officials can make rules about what you can or cannot do on school property. You must comply with a code of conduct.
2. The right to drink alcohol
If you're under the age of 18, you can drink alcoholic beverages legally if one or both of the following conditions are met:
- You're in a private home and your parent or guardian is present and agrees.
- A doctor or dentist prescribes alcohol for you.
3. The right to be supported by your family
Your parents or guardian have a legal duty to provide you with "necessaries" and to support you financially until you're 16 (18 if you're still in high school).
4. The right to get married
Normally, anyone under the age of 18 will need the consent of his or her parents or guardian to marry.
Once you're 16, you have the right to apply to the court for permission to get married if your parents or guardian don't consent. Usually the court will give you permission only if your parents or guardian fail to provide a valid reason to withhold consent.
5. The right to live away from home
If you're under the age of 16, you need your parents' or your guardian's consent before you can leave home. If you're 16 or older, you need no such consent.
6. The right to change your name
Perhaps the preceding heading should read "The Right Not to Have Your Name Changed" in that you can't legally change your name yourself unless you're 18 or older. If you're 12, however, your guardians or parents need your consent before they can change your name.
7. The right to work
If you're from age 12 to 14, you can't work for a business unless you get written permission from a parent or guardian. You're also restricted to working in an office or a store or delivering flyers or papers or-and this is a recent addition-working in a restaurant or the food services industry. In addition, you can't work between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
On school days, you can work only for two hours a day, or up to eight hours a day on weekends or holidays. You can work during school hours, however, if you're enrolled in an approved training or work-experience program.
If you are 15 to 17 years of age, you still need the consent of your parent or guardian to work, but you're not as restricted in what you can do. If you work past 9:00 p.m. in a store, hotel, motel, or selling gas, you must be supervised by an adult and you can't work past midnight. If you do another sort of job, you must have an adult working with you.
8. The right to own property
If you're under 18, you can own or control property but you can't always do what you want with it. If you own land, your parents or your guardian may handle the property on you behalf until your 18th birthday.
9. The right to make a will
If you're under 18 years of age and married, you have the right to make a legally valid will. You also have this right if you're not married but have children.