With a few limited exceptions, anyone who is legally an adult is free to get married in the United States. Generally, states have laws mandating how old you must be in order to get married and if you are below a certain age, you usually need a parent's consent and/or court approval. Massachusetts marriage age requirement laws require parties to be eighteen to get married without parental consent.
Learn about Massachusetts' marriage age requirement laws in the following table. See State-by-State Marriage 'Age of Consent' Laws for a comparison.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 207 regulates marriage in the commonwealth. Section 7 specifically applies to marriage by a minor (person under the age or eighteen or not declared a legal adult by the court).
Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent
Most states, including Massachusetts, allow minors to marry with parental consent and court approval. Unlike many other states, Massachusetts does not specify a minimum age to marry with permission from the minor’s parent.
The clerk or register cannot accept a notice of intention to marry from a person under the age of eighteen unless there is a court order. Before a judge will grant an order, he or she will conduct a hearing and must receive permission from an authorized person as follows:
- Both parents of the minor child;
- The surviving parent (if only one parent is alive);
- The parent who is a resident of the commonwealth if only one parent lives in Massachusetts; or
- The minor’s legal guardian with custody if neither parent is alive, no parent is a resident of Massachusetts, or the parental rights of both parents have been terminated by a court.
If one or both parents live outside of Massachusetts and consent would be required if they were living in the state, a court may order notice of the hearing be sent to them if their address is known.
A court does not need parental permission if one of the following applies:
- A parent has deserted the minor;
- The parent cannot give permission due to mental illness or some other incapacity; or
- The parent has been found unfit to have custody.
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent
The minimum legal age to marry without parent consent is eighteen for both males and females.
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Related Resources for Marriage Age Requirements Laws:
If you have additional questions about the validity of a marriage, you may consider speaking with an experienced Massachusetts family law attorney.