Parental Consent for Marriage of Minors

Parental consent for marriage can be obtained if both parties are of the minimum legal age to get married and are not mentally incapable of entering into marriage.

There may be further restrictions depending on the jurisdiction:

  • a party may not already be married;
  • the parties may not be related - the law specifies the relatives with whom marriage is not allowed.


teen boy and girl holding hands



Furthermore, an appointed curator may not consent to the marriage of a person with mental incapacity.

Our page on legal guardianship provides extensive information on the roles and duties of guardians, curators and also highlights the differences with foster care, child custody etc.


A Minor as defined in law is generally considered to be below the age of 18.
Important note: This is not the case in all countries, states of provinces.

Sidebar: People of legal age do not need parental consent for marriage, provided of course there are no other legal impediments to the marriage e.g. mental incapacity, existing marriage etc.

Children Under the Legal Age Require Parental Consent for Marriage

The legal age for a minor to get married with consent from the parents or legal guardians, is different in various jurisdictions. Moreover, there may also be a difference in age requirement between boys and girls.


MOST IMPORTANTLY:
Jurisdictions may have a minimum age under which NO CHILD may get married, regardless whether there is parental consent or not!


Once a child has reached that minimum age (but not yet the age of maturity), then a marriage may be entered into with the following provisions:

  1. Firstly, the parents or legal guardians all need to consent. The minor may have recourse if consent to marriage is withheld.

  2. The applicable parties need to complete a very simple document to put this consent in writing. See our free marriage license consent form below.

Our Other Free Parental Consent forms:

Temporary Guardianship and Affidavit of Guardianship

Child Travel Consent

Child Medical Consent

Power of Attorney for a Child


Please Note:
If you complete this marriage consent form as the Legal Guardian (not the parent) of the minor, you need to show a certified copy of the Court Order granting you guardianship of the minor.


Copyright Notice



Marriage License Consent Form

I, the undersigned

Full legal names: ________________________________

SS / Identity Number: ____________________________

certify that I am the Natural Parent / Court Appointed Legal Guardian of the Minor

named _______________________________________

born on the _____ day of ___________________ 20___

and hereby give my full and voluntary consent to the marriage of the Minor to the prospective spouse

named _______________________________________

born on the _____ day of ___________________ 20___

and consent to the Application for a Marriage License and the issuance of a Marriage License in the following jurisdiction: _________________________________


______________________________
Signature of Parent or Legal Guardian

Acknowledgement

This document was acknowledged before me on this
______day of ____________________20__

1) By the Parent who is personally known to me or who has provided identification in the form of __________________________.

or

2) By the Legal Guardian who is personally known to me or who has provided identification in the form of ________________________ and submitted a certified copy of the Court Order granting him/her Guardianship of the Minor.

Signature of Notary Public ______________________

Full legal names ______________________________

My commission expires ________________________

State of ________________________

County of ______________________



***

With this duly completed and signed form the Minor can then apply for a marriage license at the applicable location e.g. Town clerk's or county office, city hall, marriage bureau etc.



sneakers of young bride and groom



In some instances there may also be an additional requirement to get judicial authorization or special consent for marriage of a minor:

USA: There is a huge discrepancy from one state to the next as to the minimum age to get married, provided consent is given. Take a look at this table provided by Cornell University.

Canada: The age of majority is 18 or 19. The minimum age to get married is 16 and must have parental and court consent as prescribed in the Civil Marriage Act.

UK: England, Wales and Northern Ireland - The age of majority is 18. The minimum age to get married is 16 with parental consent.

Scotland: The minimum age to get married is 16 with or without parental consent.

Australia: The age of majority is 18. The minimum age to get married is 16 and must have court approval.

South Africa: The age of majority is 18. Males under the age of 18 and girls under the age of 16 in addition require special consent from the Minister of Home Affairs (or an official authorized to act on behalf of the Minister).

New Zealand: The age of majority is 18. The minimum age to get married is 16 and must have consent from the Family Court Judge.

To avoid any doubt or the possibility of the marriage being declared void, this consent for marriage must be in writing and presented to the marriage officer.


When Parental Consent for Marriage Cannot be Obtained or is Withheld

It may not be possible to get consent from parents or legal guardians due to:

  • Their insanity or mental incapacity;
  • Their absence by death or if they cannot be located;
  • Their refusal to give consent.

In all these instances the Minors need to apply to the applicable court for consent.

Furthermore, if parental consent for marriage is withheld unreasonably, then the minor will have to satisfy the court that this is the case and that the refusal is not in the interest of the minor.









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