This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The modern rule, in force in a great majority of the different jurisdictions, also divides the contracts of infants into void, voidable and valid contracts; but the lines of distinction between the different classes of contracts are very different from those laid down by the Common Law rule. Void contracts consist in many states of formal powers of attorney; in fewer still, of general appointments of agents; and in a very few of gratuitous gifts. Valid contracts consist.of certain executed contracts of status and all promises by an infant to perform some legal obligation already imposed upon him ; and all other contracts are voidable. These different classes of contracts will be discussed in detail in the following sections. The modern English Statute makes an infant's contracts, except for necessaries, void and incapable of ratification. Thus, acceptances given by an infant debtor who is sued with others after majority are void.1 far the rule extends but that it does apply to some contracts that are not contracts of labor is clear from many decided cases." Clements v. Ry. Co. (1894), 2 Q. B. 482, 492.
8 Robinson v. Coulter, 90 Tenn. 705; 25 Am. St. Rep. 708; 18 S. W. 250. Where the rule is reiterated as follows: "The rule governing the contracts of minors long established, is, that they are either void, voidable or valid, according as they shall appear prejudicial, uncertain, or beneficial. If to his benefit - as for 84 necessaries - they are valid; if of an uncertain character as to benefit or prejudice, they are voidable only, . . ."
9 Robinson v. Coulter. 90 Tenn. 705; 25 Am. St. Rep. 708; 18 S. W. 250.
10 Langford v. Frey. 8 Humph. (Tenn.) 443. See also on the same point Swafford v. Ferguson. 3 Lea 292; 31 Am. Rep. 639; Scobey v. Waters, 10 Lea 551.
1 Smith v. King (1892), 2 Q. B, D. 543.