When it comes to contract law, there is often confusion around whether a minor can enter into a legally binding agreement, or whether they are able to ratify a contract once they reach the age of majority. While the general rule is that minors are not legally able to enter into a contract, there are certain circumstances in which they can ratify a contract that was made while they were still a minor. Here we will take a closer look at how a minor can ratify a contract in three different ways.
1. Express Ratification
One way that a minor can ratify a contract is through express ratification, which means they actively agree to be bound by the terms of the contract once they reach the age of majority. This requires the minor to clearly and unequivocally indicate their intention to be bound by the contract. Express ratification can be done in writing or verbally, but it must be clear and unambiguous.
2. Implied Ratification
Another way for a minor to ratify a contract is through implied ratification. This occurs when the minor acts in a way that is consistent with accepting the terms of the contract after reaching the age of majority. For example, if a minor continues to make payments on a car loan after turning 18, this could be seen as an implied ratification of the contract they entered into as a minor.
3. Failure to Disaffirm
The third way a minor can ratify a contract is through their failure to disaffirm the contract within a reasonable amount of time after reaching the age of majority. Disaffirmation is the legal act of cancelling or voiding a contract, and minors are allowed to do this once they reach the age of majority. However, if a minor fails to disaffirm a contract within a reasonable time frame, this could be seen as a ratification of the contract.
In conclusion, while minors are generally not legally able to enter into a contract, there are ways in which they can ratify a contract after reaching the age of majority. These include express ratification, implied ratification, and failure to disaffirm. It is important to remember that each case is unique, and legal advice should be sought for any specific situation.