Most states, including Missouri, have requirements for how old you must be to get married, either with or without parental consent. These laws are intended to protect minors from being coerced into marriage or getting married before they're mature enough to make such a commitment. However, state laws also typically allow those younger than the minimum age to get married in the event of a pregnancy with court approval.
Overview of Missouri Marriage Age Requirement Laws
In Missouri, you must be at least 15 to get married with parental consent, and must be 18 or older to marry without consent. Only one parent or legal guardian needs to consent for each party under 18.
The "Show-Me" state allows minors younger than 15 to get married "under special circumstances and for good cause." For example, a 14-year-old girl who is pregnant may meet the "special circumstances" requirement, but also must want to get married for "good cause." If the father is supportive and the marriage is in the best interests of the young family, then the court likely would grant a court order for the marriage license.
Getting a Marriage License in Missouri
The Recorder of Deeds in each Missouri county is authorized to issue marriage licenses within the state, while both applicants must appear in person and present valid identification. The person performing the marriage ceremony must return the license to the Recorder of Deeds within 15 days of the ceremony.
Missouri Marriage Age Requirements Laws: An Overview
The following table provides the basics of Missouri's marriage age requirements, with a link to the statute.
Missouri Revised Statutes Section 451.020 (prohibiting marriage of persons who lack capacity to enter into marriage contracts)
Missouri Revised Statutes Section 451.090 (requiring parental consent for issuance of marriage licenses for minors)
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent||
Male: 15; Female: 15
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent||
Male: 18; Female: 18
Minors under 15 may obtain a license under special circumstances and for good cause.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Missouri Marital Property Laws: Related Resources
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Sometimes the consequences of getting married aren't as easy to foresee, especially when it comes to legal effects such as how you and your spouse will hold property and debts. Before making any decisions, it's important to speak with a legal expert to answer your questions and guide you through the process. Do so today with a free case initial evaluation from a trusted family law attorney near you.
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