What is the Age of Majority and how does it affect me?

The age of majority is the age when you are legally considered to be an adult. The age of majority is different in other provinces, but in Ontario it is 18 years old.

When you reach the age of majority you can vote and have access to new rights and services, but some activities may have different legal ages. If you are a parent or guardian, you are no longer legally responsible for your child when they reach the age of majority. It may impact your obligations for child support. 

What happens when I reach the age of majority in Ontario?

  • You can vote

  • You can get a full minimum wage

  • You can quit school on your 18th birthday if your birthday is between January 1st and end of August

  • You are no longer under the care of the Children’s Aid Society unless you are in extended care, or on a Voluntary Youth Service Agreement

  • Your parents no longer have custody over you

  • You can access social assistance

  • You can sign legal contracts, sue, or be sued

  • You can change your name

  • You can get married

  • You can see a restricted movie

  • You can buy a lottery ticket

What happens when my dependent reaches the age of majority?

When your dependent (a child you are legally responsible for as a parent or guardian) reaches the age of majority you are no longer legally obliged to financially care for them. This is also true if they have gotten married or left your home before reaching the age of 18. 

However, this person may still be a dependent even after reaching the age of majority if they:

  •  have a disability

  • are in school full-time (e.g. pursuing a post-secondary degree)

What does it mean if I am paying child support for a dependent who reaches the age of majority?

When a dependent turns 18 years old, you may not have to continue paying child support unless:

  • You have agreed to pay child support after the age of majority

  • Your dependent has a disability or is in school full-time after the age of majority

How is the age of majority different from the legal age?

The legal age is the age that you are allowed to do a certain activity or assume a certain responsibility. It is independent from the age of majority. For example, the legal age to get a license in Ontario is 16 years old, while you must be 19 years old to purchase alcohol or cannabis.

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Last updated: February 27, 2024 4006388