New Missouri State Law Raises Age for Marriage

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed into law legislation which will raise the minimum age for a minor to marry in the State of Missouri to the age of 16.

Her legislation was added to a Senate bill in the final week of session, which then won approval from both chambers of the Legislature.

Not only does the new law prohibit the issuance of a marriage license to anyone under 16, but it also bans the marriage of a male or female 21 years of age or older to any male or female under 18 years of age.

The law retains the requirement that any minor under the age of 18 years must have the written consent of a custodial parent or guardian to obtain a marriage license.

Previous law in Missouri allowed a county judge to order the issuance of a marriage license to a child under 15 years of age “for good cause shown and by reason of such unusual conditions as to make such marriage advisable.”

Circuit and associate circuit judges will no longer have the discretion to exempt minors from the minimum age for marriage prescribed in the law.

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