Nearly all states have age limits for minors who want to get married, typically with parental consent requirements as well as exceptions for pregnant minors. Anyone above the age of majority (18 in most states), of course, may make the decision to get married on their own, without a parent's consent. Such restrictions on minors are meant to discourage marriage through coercion (child brides, for instance), while helping to ensure that individuals have the maturity required to make such an important lifetime decision.
Age Requirements for Getting Married in Arkansas
Anyone 18 and older may get married if they are otherwise eligible to do so (see Arkansas Annulment and Prohibited Marriage Laws to learn more). But males as young as 17 and females as young as 16 may get married with parental consent. Anyone younger may obtain a marriage license in the case of pregnancy or after the birth of a child, but will need a judicial order along with parental consent.
However, the parent's consent may be voided by court order if clear and convincing evidence shows that the parent is not fit to make such decisions and the marriage is contrary to the child's best interests.
See FindLaw's Getting Married section for related articles and resources.
|Code Section||9-11-102 to 105|
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent||Male: 17; Female: 16|
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent||Male: 18; Female: 18|
|Comments||Minors under minimum age may obtain license in case of pregnancy or birth of child, with parental consent and judicial order.|
Note: State laws are not etched in stone and may change at any time, usually through the enactment of new legislation or decisions by higher courts (including federal courts in some instances). Make sure you contact an Arkansas family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
How to Get Married in Arkansas
Eligible couples who wish to get married in Arkansas will have to appear in person at their local county clerk's office, with a valid ID (drivers license, state-issued ID, passport, military ID, Indian card, or original birth certificate). The cost for a marriage license is $60.00 (cash or credit accepted). Additionally, couples may choose to apply for a covenant marriage license, in which the couple agrees to obtain pre-marital counseling and limited grounds for a future divorce.
Research the Law
Arkansas Marriage Age Requirements: Related Resources
Get Professional Legal Help With Your Marriage-Related Issue
In order to get a valid marriage license, Arkansans under the age of 16 or 17 (for women and men, respectively) must get parental permission or in some cases a judicial order. If your marriage faces one of these special circumstances, you probably will want professional legal help. Get started today by reaching out to an Arkansas family law attorney near you.
Contact a qualified attorney.