With all the buzz that accompanies marriage and weddings -- venues, centerpieces, the dress -- it can be easy to forget that marriage is a legally binding contract. Even if you are opting for the simplest of ceremonies at the county courthouse (perhaps the most symbolic reminder of the law’s role in marriage), the prospect of starting a new life as a married couple can often overshadow serious consideration of marriage’s legal implications.
Anyone who is legally an adult is free to get married in the U.S. -- although many states still restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. Since marriage is a legal contract, there are, of course, certain requirements that must be met for the marriage to be valid. Before a couple can be married in Arizona, they must have a marriage license and be of legal age to be married.
Every state has its own age requirement to be married. Because marriage has important legal and financial implications which can be extremely detrimental to one or both parties if they choose to divorce, the state wants to ensure that the parties are old enough to understand -- each state has age requirements for those wishing to marry.
In Arizona, marriage age requirement laws require both parties to be at least 16 years old if they each have their parent’s consent. If they do not have their parent’s consent, each party must be at least 18 years old. In some circumstances, minors under the age of 16 years old may be allowed to marry with: 1.) parental consent; and 2.) the approval of a superior court judge.
For a summary of Arizona's marriage age requirement laws check out the table displayed below:
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent||Male: 16; Female: 16|
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent||Male: 18; Female: 18|
|Comments||Minors under 16 may be allowed to marry with parental consent and approval of superior court judge.|
To compare Arizona laws with the laws of other states, check out FindLaw’s State-by-State Marriage 'Age of Consent' Laws article. For more general information on this area of law, check out FindLaw’s section on marriage. If you have more specific questions or need more individualized assistance, consider retaining a family law lawyer.
Contact a qualified attorney.