Is it Legal to get Married Under 18 in Arizona?
Young people have been getting married since the dawn of time. In the U.S., the age at which one marries has increased over the years. In the 1950s and 1960s, for example, it was common for young men and women to marry by the time they were in their early twenties. If you go back even further, it wasn’t unusual to see families pushing their daughters to get married as soon as possible. Today, if you’re under 18 and want to get married, it may not be as simple as it was years ago. That’s why it’s a good idea to consult an experienced Arizona family lawyer before you make any final decisions.
It’s not just a matter of whether the marriage is legal or illegal. If a couple expects to go the distance, the last thing they need are legal challenges to their union. Here, we’ll take a look at what the laws in Arizona say about minors getting married. If you have any questions, you can call our office and set up an appointment to meet with one of our skilled Arizona family lawyers.
Not Every State Has the Same Laws Regarding Marriage
For some things, like the legal drinking age, almost every state has the same laws. But when it comes to family matters, that isn’t the case. For example, in Arizona, people under the age of 18 can get married as long as they comply with the law. There are some states, however, that have much stricter laws. If you recently moved to Arizona or have not checked the laws there regarding minors getting married, keep reading. You may have questions for yourself or your child. You may even be looking for a way to prevent your son or daughter getting married. Whatever your concerns may be, our Arizona family lawyers have the answers.
Minors Can Get Married in Arizona if They Meet Certain Conditions
The laws in Arizona changed in 2018. According to HB 2006, which was signed by Governor Ducey, 16- and 17-year-old boys and girls can get married but only if they meet certain conditions. The first one is that a minor cannot marry someone who is more than 3 years older than then. So, if a 17-year-old wants to get married to someone who is 21, it will not be allowed, even if the parents give consent,
The second rule when it comes to underage marriage is a bit more complicated. If you re legally emancipated and over 16, you can get married. You don’t even need parental consent. If you aren’t emancipated, then 16- and 17-year-old adolescents can only get married if at least one parent consents.
Why is Parental Consent Required?
The reason why parental consent is required for an underage marriage is because of basic contract laws. In order to sign any contract, a person must be at least 18 years old. Since a wedding involves a marriage contract, the age of majority rule would normally apply. This is one of the rare instances where a parent can effectively waive the laws protecting their children. And, for emancipated minors, they are simply treated as adults for the purposes of marrying.