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New Jersey Marriage Age Requirements Laws

Anyone who is of the age of majority (18 in most states), and who meets other criteria, is free to marry whomever they want -- although many states continue to prohibit same-sex marriage. It is sometimes easy to get swept up in the celebrations and festivities associated with marriage, and forget that marriage is ultimately a legally binding contract. Each state, therefore, imposes legal requirements that must be met in order for a marriage to be valid. One such requirement is that both parties to the marriage be of a certain age.

In general, state laws have marriage age limits to account for different circumstances. For instance, New Jersey couples may get married as young as 16 with parental consent, while minors younger than 16 also need the approval of court. If the parties do not have parental consent, both parties must be at least 18 years of age. Courts tend to encourage marriage of minors in the event of childbirth or pregnancy. If a male younger than 18 years old is arrested for having sexual intercourse with a single woman (who then becomes pregnant), parental consent is not required for the parties to be married.

The main provisions of New Jersey's marriage age requirement laws are listed in the chart below. See FindLaw's Getting Married section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section

37:1-6

Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent

Male: 16; Female: 16 (unless parents of unsound mind)

Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent

Male: 18; Female: 18

Comments

Minors under 16 may obtain license by parental consent and approval of court. If male under 18 yrs. old and has been arrested on charge of sexual intercourse with single female who thereby became pregnant, consent not required.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New Jersey family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

If you’d like more information on New Jersey’s marriage requirements laws, feel free to check out the links listed below for related resources. For more general information on this area of law, you can refer to FindLaw’s section on marriage. If you have more specific questions or need individualized assistance, you may want to consider retaining a family law lawyer.

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