Marriage Age by State

Marriage Age by State: Understanding State Statutes

Marriage laws across the United States vary significantly, with each state having its own regulations regarding the minimum age at which individuals can legally marry. This article provides comprehensive insights into the minimum marriage age requirements in each state, shedding light on this crucial aspect of family law.

State-by-State Marriage “Age of Consent” Laws:

Marriage laws in the United States vary from state to state, with each state having its own set of regulations regarding the minimum age at which individuals can legally marry. Known as the “age of consent” for marriage, these laws aim to protect the rights and well-being of minors while recognizing the freedom to enter into marriage for adults.

Here are the minimum marriage age by state, ranked from lowest to highest:

  1. Massachusetts: 14 years old
  2. New Hampshire: 14 years old
  3. Hawaii: 15 years old
  4. Kansas: 15 years old
  5. Mississippi: 15 years old

(Table: Minimum Marriage Age by State with Parental Consent)

Key Points:

  • Massachusetts and New Hampshire have the lowest marriage age requirements in the United States, with a minimum age of 14 years old.
  • No state in the United States permits marriage at the age of 12.
  • In Texas, the minimum marriage age with parental consent is 16 years old. Therefore, a 14-year-old cannot legally marry in Texas without special circumstances or exceptions.
  • In New York, individuals who are 16 years old can marry with both parental consent and judicial approval, while the minimum marriage age with parental consent is 17 years old.
  • Some states allow individuals as young as 16 years old to get married with parental consent, but the minimum marriage age varies by state.

Engagement vs. Marriage:

It’s important to note that engagement is not a legally binding contract like marriage. Individuals can become engaged at any age with the mutual agreement of both parties. However, marriage laws dictate the minimum age at which individuals can legally marry, typically requiring parental consent for minors.

RankStateMinimum Marriage Age with Parental ConsentEmancipation AgeJudicial BypassCommon Law Marriage RecognizedAdditional Notes
1Massachusetts1418YesNoMass. Gen. Laws ch. 209, § 6
2New Hampshire1418YesNoN.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 457:1
3Hawaii1518YesNoHaw. Rev. Stat. § 572-1
4Kansas1518YesNoKan. Stat. Ann. § 21-1101
5Mississippi1518YesNoMiss. Code Ann. § 93-1-1
6Missouri1518YesNoMo. Rev. Stat. § 451.010
7Alabama1519YesNoAla. Code § 26-17-1
8Alaska18YesNoAlaska Stat. § 25.20.010
9Arizona1618YesNoAriz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-101
10Arkansas1718YesNoArk. Code Ann. § 9-26-201
11Idaho1618YesNoIdaho Code § 32-2101
12Indiana1718YesNoInd. Code § 31-11-2-2
13Nebraska1719YesNoNeb. Rev. Stat. § 42-101
14Nevada1618YesNoNev. Rev. Stat. § 122.020
15New Mexico1618YesNoN.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-1-2
16Connecticut1618YesNoConn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-120
17Georgia1618YesNoGa. Code Ann. § 19-3-3
18Wyoming1618YesNoWyo. Stat. Ann. § 20-1-102
19Colorado1818YesNoColo. Rev. Stat. § 14-2-102
20California1818YesNoCal. Fam. Code § 300
21Delaware1818YesNoDel. Code Ann. tit. 13, § 101
22Florida1818YesNoFla. Stat. § 741.01
23Illinois1818YesNo750 ILCS 5/601
24Iowa1818YesNoIowa Code § 595.1
25Kentucky1818YesNoKy. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 402.010
26Louisiana1818YesNoLa. Civ. Code Art. 147
27Maine1818YesNo19-A M.R.S.A. § 201
28Maryland1818YesNoMd. Code, Fam. Law § 2-102
29Michigan1818YesNoMich. Comp. Laws § 722.51
30Minnesota1818YesNoMinn. Stat. § 517.05
31Montana1618YesNoMont. Code Ann. § 40-1-201
32New Jersey1818YesNoN.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:34-2
33New York1818YesNoN.Y.
34North Carolina1618YesNoN.C. Gen. Stat. § 51-1
35North Dakota1618YesNoN.D. Cent. Code § 14-03-03.1
36Ohio1818YesNoOhio Rev. Code Ann. § 3101.01
37Oklahoma1618YesNoOkla. Stat. tit. 43, § 3
38Oregon1718YesNoOr. Rev. Stat. § 106.020
39Pennsylvania1618YesNo23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 1303
40Rhode Island1618YesNoR.I. Gen. Laws § 15-2-1
41South Carolina1618YesNoS.C. Code Ann. § 20-1-250
42South Dakota1618YesNoS.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 25-1-1
43Tennessee1618YesNoTenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-104
44Texas1618YesNoTex. Fam. Code § 2.101
45Utah1618YesNoUtah Code Ann. § 30-1-9
46Vermont1618YesNoVt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 1
47Virginia1618YesNoVa. Code Ann. § 20-48
48Washington1718YesNoWash. Rev. Code § 26.04.010
49West Virginia1618YesNoW. Va. Code § 48-2-301
50Wisconsin1618YesNoWis. Stat. Ann. § 765.02
51Wyoming1618YesNoWyo. Stat. Ann. § 20-1-102

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

  1. Can a 20-year-old marry a 16-year-old in Texas?

    • The youngest age to independently consent to marriage in Texas is 18. Between ages 16-18, only parental consent is required to obtain a marriage license.
  2. What age can a girl get married in the USA?

    • In the U.S., individuals can marry without parental consent at age 18 in most states. Exceptions include Nebraska (age 19), the District of Columbia (age 16), and Mississippi (age 21).
  3. What age can you get married in New Jersey?

    • To marry in New Jersey, individuals must be at least 18 years old. They cannot be party to another civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage in the state.
  4. Can a 10-year-old get married in the US?

    • Marrying before age 18 was legal in all states until 2017. Since then, 10 states have passed legislation banning child marriage, with Delaware being the first in 2018.
  5. Can a 22-year-old date an 18-year-old?

    • Legally, there’s no issue with a romantic or sexual relationship between a 22-year-old and an 18-year-old. However, societal norms may vary regarding age differences in relationships.
  6. Can I marry my girlfriend at 16?

    • Over half of U.S. states allow marriage between ages 16-18 with parental consent alone. Fifteen states allow marriage even younger, depending on judicial approval or if one party is pregnant or has had a child.


  1. State Legislature Websites: (Replace “STATE” with the name of the specific state) Example: Alabama Legislature –

  2. Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII): Website:

  3. Legal Information Institute (LII) by Cornell University: Website:

  4. Westlaw: Website:

  5. LexisNexis: Website:

  6. Bloomberg Law: Website:

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