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In Germany, we have a law that limits contractual capacity of minors: "A contract concluded by the minor without the approval of the legal representative is deemed effective from the outset if the minor effects performance under the contract with means that were made available to the minor for this purpose or for the minor’s free disposition by the legal representative or by a third party with the representative’s approval." (§ 110 German Civil Code). The "means made available to the minor" could e.g. be pocket money. This leads to the situation that minors may not acquire goods that are more expensive than a monthly average sum of pocket money for a certain age (e.g. a 13-year-old receives on average about 26 € per month). In effect, a seller could refuse to sell the good to the minor and would want the minor to bring his parents to buy the good with their consent.

My question: does something like that exist in the USA as well? What if a minor wants to buy e.g. a Playstation 5 without his parents? Will he be able to buy it?

Thanks in advance for helpful responses.

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  • Cash transactions are considered differently than long term contracts. Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 14:42

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In common law jurisdictions, contracts with minors are voidable unless they are for necessities

That means an adult who enters a contract with a child is legally bound. A child that enters a contract is bound for as long as they choose to be (until they turn 18 and for a reasonable period thereafter) or until the contract is complete or unless the contract is for necessities.

What counts as a necessity depends on the financial means of the particular child.

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    Thank you! It confirms my assumption. May I ask which law is to be referred to (as official reference)?
    – J. Miller
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 14:10
  • I think their legal guardian is also able to void the contract.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 16:55
  • @J.Miller it’s a long-standing common law rule
    – Dale M
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 22:51

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