In the United States, the marriage age is set by each state and territory, either by the common law or by individual statutes. Minimum marriage ages are set to prevent child marriages. An individual in the U.S. can marry without parental consent at the age of 18 in all states except for Nebraska, where the age is 19, the District of Columbia where it is 16, and Mississippi where the age of consent is 21.
In the past 15 years, about 200,000 minors have married. Underage marriage in the United States is not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances including consent of a court clerk or judge, consent of the parents or legal guardians of the minor, if one of the parties is pregnant or has given birth to a child, or if the minor is emancipated. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware do not allow underage marriage in exceptional circumstances.
Most states have a minimum marriage age for minors with parental consent, ranging from 12-17 years old. However, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia do not have minimum ages for minors to be allowed to marry with parental consent.
Some states have different minimum ages for males and females, with or without parental consent. For example, in Mississippi, the age of consent to marry with parental consent is 17 for males and 15 for females.
Here are some additional notes by state:
With Parental Consent
Without Parental Consent
|Hawaii||16||18||15 (with parental consent and judicial court order)|
|Idaho||16||18||(only if there is no more than a three-year age gap between the two parties)|
|Indiana||16||18||(both are at least sixteen, or one of the individuals is not more than four years older than the other. Minors must be granted a judicial order with approval to marry and complete emancipation)|
|Kansas||16||18||(both parties should be the same age with written parental consent from the parents of each party and judicial approval by the court)|
|Louisiana||16||18||(With parental consent and judicial approval, a minor who is sixteen or seventeen can marry a person less than three years older)|
|Missouri||16||18||(A person over twenty-one cannot marry someone under the age of eighteen.)|
|Montana||16||18||(With parental consent and after at least two separate counseling sessions)|
|New Hampshire||16||18||(With parental consent and the consent of the judge)|
|New Mexico||16||18||(A person under sixteen can marry by order of a children's or family division of the district court.)|
|North Carolina||16||18||(may marry a person no more than four years older with a court order)|
|Texas||16||18||(must have a court order)|
|Utah||16||18||(With parental consent, judicial approval and the other party must not be more than seven years older than the underage individual)|
|West Virginia||16||18||below 16 - with parental consent and judicial approval|
|Wyoming||16||18||below 16 - with parental consent and judicial approval|
|Florida||17||18||(as long as one party isn't more than two years older than the minor)|
|Georgia||17||18||(but not to someone more than four years older. Each party to the marriage contract who is seventeen must complete a premarital education course)|
|Maryland||17||18||(With parental consent and the individual presents a certified copy of an order granting authorization to marry)|
|Nevada||17||18||(With parental or guardian consent, proof of Nevada residence and a court order)|
|Ohio||17||18||(With judicial consent, and so long as the parties are less than four years apart)|
|Tennessee||17||18||(with parental consent and one party cannot be more than four years older than the minor)|
|Washington||17||18||(With judicial approval)|