Each state regulates who can marry within its borders. States typically have marriage requirements related to the age of the spouses, legal capacity, and the ability to consent. Although this should be obvious, don’t show up to the courthouse to get your license when you’re drunk or high.
All states define some age, generally the age of legal majority, at which anyone can marry, if the other requirements are met. Most states allow legal marriage for minors under some conditions, such as with parental permission or without parental permission, but when pregnant. New Mexico also permits minors to marry in some circumstances.
The ages at which you can marry in New Mexico, under various conditions, are listed below.
|Code Sections||New Mexico Statutes Sections 40-1-6: Restrictions on Marriage of Minors|
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent||Any adult ages 18 or older can marry any other adult, whether of the opposite sex or same sex. Same sex marriage has been legal in New Mexico since December 2013.|
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent||A 16 or 17 year old teen can marry with the written consent of each living parent of the minor.
If parental consent isn’t possible, the district court can authorize the marriage upon request of a parent or legal guardian who shows good cause. For example, if a parent hasn’t been seen in many years, the other parent could consent and explain to the judge why they couldn’t get the permission of one parent.
|Exceptions for Minors Under 16 Years Old||Children under 16 can obtain a marriage license by the order of a children’s court or family division of district court. Courts can authorize marriage in settlement of an action to compel support, establish paternity or parentage, and if a girl is pregnant.|
Many years ago, getting married before you turned 18 was fairly common in the U.S. However, these days it’s more of an oddity. Before rushing to tie the knot, make sure you and your spouse are ready for the commitment and have the support of your families. If you have any questions about marriage and its consequences, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced New Mexico family law attorney.
Note: State laws change all the time -- contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these marriage laws.
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