Last Updated 12/11/2019
Every state regulates marriage and who can marry. One of the requirements of getting a marriage license -- and, after the wedding, the marriage certificate -- is to be at least a certain age specified by the state. The reasoning behind this requirement is that a marriage is essentially a contract, so you should be old enough to enter into a contract when you enter into a marriage.
In Colorado, the age at which a person can be held accountable when they enter into contracts is 18. The age at which a person can marry without parental or judicial intervention is also 18. For more specifics on getting married before the age of 18, see the table below. Once married, a child is automatically legally emancipated and treated as an adult.
The following table details the Colorado marriage age requirement laws.
|Code Sections||Colorado Revised Statutes Section 14-2-106: License to Marry, 14-2-108: Judicial Approval for a License to Marry, and Modernizing Marriage Laws For Minors|
|Minimum Legal Age||
For both men and women, the minimum legal age of marriage is 18. However, both girls and boys ages 16 and 17 can marry with judicial approval. In such cases, a guardian-ad-litem is appointed. The court can only issue the certificate of marriage after reading the report of the guardian-ad-litem and concluding both parties are capable of assuming the responsibilities of marriage.
The court has to consider the best interests of the child (the same standard used for child custody cases). The judge can only grant a marriage license if the underage person is capable of assuming the responsibilities of marriage. The law explicitly states that pregnancy alone doesn’t establish the parties' best interests would be served by marrying.
|Minors under 16 years of age||
The law previously provided that a child under 16 can request the court approve the marriage under certain circumstances. In 2019, however, this law was amended to prohibit marriage to those who are under 16 years of age.
Note: State laws are constantly changing. Please conduct your own legal research or contact an experienced Colorado family law attorney to verify any laws you are researching.
Contact a qualified attorney.