Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/Marriage consent age


Hi, Morgan.
Curious. My friend is in her upper 20s, but her boyfriend is 16 (and I don't think they've been intimate, they mostly communicate via text/email and fell for each other that way). They are thinking of getting married, but isn't the age of consent for marriage at 18? This is in Minnesota too, where you practice.
Thank you.

Hello June,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

Minnesota has a statute dealing with age of consent to marry; which is generally 18 with an exception.  "517.02 PERSONS CAPABLE OF CONTRACTING.  Every person who has attained the full age of 18 years is capable in law of contracting into a civil marriage, if otherwise competent. A person of the full age of 16 years may, with the consent of the person's legal custodial parents, guardian, or the court, as provided in section 517.08, receive a license to marry, when, after a careful inquiry into the facts and the surrounding circumstances, the person's application for a license and consent for civil marriage of a minor form is approved by the judge of the district court of the county in which the person resides..."

So, it seems to me that if a party to the marriage is 16, and has parental consent and a judge approves the arrangement, they can get married before the 18th birthday here in Minnesota.

I hope this helps, good luck to you and your friend.

Morgan Smith
Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Morgan Smith


Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.


I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at:

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