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Are you a Minor and Ready to Marry?

If you are a under 18-years-old, some states require that you have parent’s permission in order to get married. In New York, minors who are 16 or 17 and wish to get married need a parental consent form that must be filled out by both parents. Younger teens that are 14 or 15 are also permitted to marry in the state, but only in circumstances that have been approved by both sets of parents and a justice of the Supreme Court.

In some cases, a judge from a local family court can suffice as the legal approval for a marriage. In cases where one parent is deceased, missing, or uninvolved in the child’s life, his or her signature is not needed to permit the marriage. Also, if one parent has full custody from a divorce proceeding, then only that parent’s signature is required on the form. Parents that have been missing for over a year are also exempt from signing the forms for the marriage of their child.

According to state law, a teen must be at least 14-years-of age to marry. Those who are under the age of 14 are not permitted to marry for any reason in this state. In most cases, the court will want both sets of parents to attend a court hearing where they can give their consent regarding the nuptials in person.

Whoever is considered a legal parent or guardian in the child’s life must testify before a town or county clerk and state that they approve of the union. If the parent or guardian does not live in the state of New York, then a notarized affidavit is often acceptable. It must be accompanied by a certificate of authentication if the consent is to be filed in New York.

Teens who want to marry must complete these steps or their marriage will not be legally recognized by the state and federal governments. If you have more questions about minor marriages, then talk to a family lawyer at our firm.