There is no age limit to marry in the state of California. However, there are new restrictions that have been put in place to help reduce the number of unwanted underage marriages that have been forced upon the minors by their parents or others. These restrictions, which will begin January 1st, 2019, include the following:
- Parents of the minor will have to meet with court officials separate from their children;
- The minor, or minors, will have to meet with court officials, separate from their parents; and
- Minors must wait at least 30 days before getting married unless they are 17 years old and have graduated high school or one of the spouses is pregnant.
These separate meetings are used to ensure that the parents or others are not forcing or coercing the minor to get married. If you have questions about underage marriage as a parent or a minor, call a San Jose family law attorney.
Reasons For and Against Underage Marriage
There are a number of valid reasons why two minors would marry one another, or why a minor would want to marry an adult 18 years of age or older. While underage marriage is somewhat rare in the U.S. (in Los Angeles County there were only 44 petitions for underage marriages in the last five years), it is common in third world countries....