Marriage is both a personal commitment to another individual and a legal contract granted by the state, a very important institution that must be entered into with maturity and a clear mind. As such, there are restrictions in most states on how young an individual may be in order to get married. Those over the age of majority (typically 18) are free to get married without a court hearing or parental consent, while minors must either get parental consent or prove to the court that they're ready for marriage. For instance, the court may allow 15-year-olds to get married if they are expecting a child and the court believes the marriage is in the family's best interests.
Marriage Age Requirements in Rhode Island: Overview
The age of majority in Rhode Island is 18, but minors as young as 16 may get a marriage license with parental consent. There is a protocol the court follows when determining whether minors under 16 may get married. See the Rhode Island Department of Health's How to Get a Marriage License page to learn more.
Additional information about Rhode Island's marriage age laws is listed below. See FindLaw's Getting Married section for related articles and resources.
|Minimum Legal Age With Parental Consent
||Male: 16; Female: 16
|Minimum Legal Age Without Parental Consent
||Male: 18; Female: 18
||Younger parties may obtain license in special circumstances.
|Court Process for Granting Marriage Licenses to Applicants Under 16
(1) The town or city clerk shall immediately transmit a certified copy of the information to the family court. The court shall immediately transmit a copy of the information, together with a written request for a complete investigation of and a report upon the advisability of the issuance of the license, to the department of human services. The department shall within fifteen days after the receipt of the information, the request, and the report file in the court its complete report in writing.
(2) The court shall then conduct a hearing in chambers to determine the advisability of the issuance of the license and shall notify the town or city clerk of its determination. The court shall have the power to summon at the hearing any persons that it may deem advisable.
(3) The court shall also file the report and a notation of its determination in the office of the clerk of the court, but any papers filed at the office of the clerk shall not be matters of public record and may be examined only upon the written authorization of the court.
(4) During the pendency of the proceedings, the court shall exercise the authority of a guardian in respect to the minor or minors involved.
Note: State laws are subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of newly signed legislation or voter-approved ballot initiatives but sometimes through court actions or other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a Rhode Island family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Rhode Island Marriage Age Requirements: Related Resources