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Specific Relief where the Agreement is made with a Minor: Understanding the Legal Implications

Entering into a contract with a minor can be a tricky situation, especially when it comes to specific relief. Specific relief refers to a legal remedy where a court orders a party to carry out a specific action or refrain from doing so. However, when the agreement is made with a minor, the legal implications can be complicated.

In this article, we will delve into the legal aspects of specific relief when entering into a contract with a minor.

Minor’s Capacity to Contract

Before proceeding, it is essential to understand a minor’s capacity to contract. A minor is an individual who has not yet reached the age of majority, which varies based on jurisdiction but generally ranges from 18 to 21 years old.

In most cases, a minor`s capacity to contract is limited. Minors are considered to be legally incompetent to enter into a contract, and any agreement made with a minor is voidable at the minor`s option.

The rationale behind this rule is that minors are considered to lack the necessary maturity and judgment to make informed decisions. Therefore, they require protection from their own inexperience and vulnerability.

Specific Relief in Contracts with Minors

When it comes to specific relief, a contract with a minor poses a unique challenge. Courts are generally reluctant to grant specific performance to minors as it can be detrimental to their welfare.

For example, if a minor entered into a contract to sell a piece of land, it would be unfair to order them to perform the contract if they are not capable of understanding the implications of the agreement fully.

Similarly, a court may be hesitant to order a minor to pay a sum of money as specific performance, particularly if the contract concerns necessities such as food, shelter, or education.

Exceptions to the Rule

However, there are exceptions to the rule. Specific performance may be granted in cases where:

– The contract is for a beneficial service, such as education or medical treatment, and the minor has already received the benefit.

– The contract was made on behalf of the minor by a guardian or someone legally authorized to act on their behalf.

– The minor ratified the contract upon reaching the age of majority.

In these cases, the court may order specific performance to safeguard the interests of the parties involved.


In conclusion, when entering into a contract with a minor, it is essential to understand their capacity to contract and the limitations that come with it. Specific relief in contracts with minors can be complicated, and courts are generally reluctant to order specific performance as it can be detrimental to the minor’s welfare.

However, there are exceptions to the rule, and courts may order specific performance in cases where the contract involves a beneficial service, was made on behalf of the minor, or was ratified upon reaching the age of majority.

As always, it is advisable to seek legal advice before entering into any agreement with a minor to avoid any potential legal complications.