While marriage is a lifelong commitment to the person you love, it's also a legal contract granted by the state. Because of this, each state has specific age requirements for those wishing to get married, while adults (those over the age of majority, usually 18) are free to get married without permission.
Minors down to a certain age limit may get married in most states with a parent or guardian's permission, while many states provide exceptions in the case of pregnancy -- if a court grants permission. But some states will not grant marriage licenses to people under a certain age for any reason at all. These age limits are to ensure that anyone choosing to get married has the maturity (in theory, at least) to make such an important decision, and also to discourage young people from being coerced into marriage.
The state of New Hampshire allows children as young as 16 to get married, if they obtain parental consent and if a judge determines that there is "clear and convincing evidence" that marriage is in the couple's best interests.
Marriage Age Requirements in New Hampshire: A Summary
To understand what a law says, it's always best to go to the source -- the statute itself. However, statutes are usually written in "legalese" and can take time to fully comprehend. Having a helpful summary, like the summary of New Hampshire marriage age requirement laws in the chart below, can be a helpful way to start your research.
New Hampshire Statutes, Chapter 457:
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent
||16 (regardless of gender)
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent
||18 (regardless of gender)
|Judicial Permission Required
A judge can grant permission to a minor in if there is clear and convincing evidence that the marriage is in the best interest of the petitioning minor(s).
Note: Judges cannot grant permission to minors under the age of consent if:
- sexual contact between the parties would constitute a form of sexual assault but for the marriage; or
- both parties are nonresidents
Any marriage contracted by persons under 18 may, in discretion of the court, be annulled by the party who at the time of marriage was under 18. The parent or guardian can also request an annulment, unless the parties confirm the marriage upon reaching the age of consent (18 years).
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
New Hampshire Marriage Age Requirements: Related Resources
Need More Help With New Hampshire's Marriage Age Laws? Contact an Attorney
Marriage is a major life decision with important legal consequences. This is even more true for those who make the decision early on in life. Get your marriage started off on solid legal footing by speaking with an experienced family law lawyer in your area.