Can a 13 yr old child be held accountable to a contract without parental consent?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2012

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Can a 13 yr old child be held accountable to a contract without parental consent?

My child ordered a product from TV and paid for it with her money. She then received a second product in the mail one month later that she did not order. She returned it unopened. The seller still wants to be paid for the product even though they agree that they did receive the product back.

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Louisiana


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since your daughter is a minor, being a minor is a defense to enforcement of a contract. 

As for the second item that was never ordered, but was shipped, unsolicited merchandise is considered a gift for which no payment is required.  Since the second item was returned and the company acknowledged that it was returned, the company has no claim for payment.

There wasn't any contract in effect to ship the second item and if there had been a contract for the purchase of the second item, the fact that your daughter is a minor would be a defense to enforcement of the contract.

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