Every state may set its own marriage laws, including age requirements for marriage. Although these guidelines do exist in Florida, some individuals can marry below the state’s age requirement if they have parental consent to do so.
For years, Florida allowed children age 16 or older to get married if they had parental consent. Otherwise, the minimum legal age without parental consent was 18. Earlier this year, however, the state passed new legislation that banned all marriages for children under 17, regardless of parental consent.
The new marriage age legislation
The law was a compromise between those who wished to ban all marriages for minors under the age of 18 and those who still wished to allow some children to get married with parental consent.
Child marriage is legal across the United States with some limitations, and each state provides its own stipulations. Under the new Florida law, children who are 17 years old can still get married with parental consent, but they will face some additional requirements compared to adults who are 18 and older. These include mandatory premarital preparation courses. In addition, a 17-year-old person cannot marry someone who is more than two years older.
The updated restrictions are among the strictest child marriage laws in the nation. They come at a time when many states are beginning to reevaluate their child marriage laws.