Law to better protect
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What if the child performs a legal act for which they were supposed to be represented (e.g. selling a valuable item of property)? Their tutor alone may ask the court to cancel or reduce the resulting obligations, provided they are able to prove that prejudice was caused.
Upon reaching the age of 18, the age of majority in Québec, the child becomes fully capable of exercising all their civil rights (e.g. signing a major contract, disposing of large sums of money, contracting a loan). Until this age, the child may not act alone and must be assisted and represented by their parents or dative or suppletive tutor, under whose authority they are placed. The legal term for this is incapacity of the minor.
However, this does not mean they are totally incapacitated: their incapacity will depend on their age, maturity and degree of discernment, as well as the type of acts concerned.
The law recognizes the following rights for a minor:
If the minor has a high income or spends recklessly, the tutor may ask the court to set the portion of the child’s funds over which they have control.
The child may:
From age 14, the child is regarded as a person of full age by the Civil Code for all matters concerning their work or practice of an art or sports. They may also accomplish all related acts (renting a workplace and paying rent, purchasing specialized equipment...), as well as being able to use their earnings for their everyday needs.
Turning 14 is therefore a landmark in the minor’s gradual acquisition of autonomy. When the minor reaches this age, their parents or dative tutor also have to inform them about their administration by giving them an annual administration report, if the tutorship is supervised by a tutorship council and the Curateur public.
When they are 16 or older, a minor may for example:
|Under age 14||
From age 14 to 16
|From age 16 to 18||