Bride and Groom

Inside the Law: Minimum Marriage Age

July 06, 2018 - 3:45 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Juliet was only 13 when she fell in love with Romeo. Times have changed, but not so much in every state. 

A dying mother in India was worried that her alcoholic husband would not take care of their 13-year-old son and younger children when she was gone, so she arranged a marriage between her 13-year-old son and a 23-year-old bride. 

Here, many women believe they’re married to a child (figuratively at least), but what is the actual age to be legally married in the United States? 

It depends on state law. 

Delaware recently became the first state in the country to forbid marriage by anyone younger than 18, no matter whether parents approve or not. 

But age restrictions vary widely, from states with high age requirements (relatively speaking), like Florida that don’t allow marriage younger than 17 but allow it at 17 with parental and judicial consent, to Utah which allows 15 year olds to be married with parental consent, or Pennsylvania which allows marriage under 16 if a Judge believes it’s in the best interest of the applicant.  

Think that’s young? 

Some states like California have no minimum age. Get someone else to try to get him to pick up after himself, why don’t you?