What Is the Legal Marriage Age in Illinois

What Is the Legal Marriage Age in Illinois?

Marriage is a significant milestone in one’s life, marking the beginning of a new chapter with a partner. However, it is crucial to understand the legal requirements and restrictions surrounding marriage, including the minimum age at which one can legally get married. In Illinois, the legal marriage age is determined by state laws and regulations. This article aims to provide clarity on the legal marriage age in Illinois, along with addressing frequently asked questions regarding this matter.

Legal Marriage Age in Illinois:

In Illinois, the legal marriage age is 18 years old. Individuals who are 18 or older can enter into a marriage contract without any legal impediments. This age requirement ensures that both parties involved have reached a level of maturity and understanding necessary for such a significant commitment.

However, there are exceptions to this general rule. In certain circumstances, individuals younger than 18 may also be allowed to get married, but only with the proper consent and legal authorization. These exceptions are subject to specific conditions and procedures.

Marriage Age Exceptions and Requirements:

1. Emancipated Minors: Minors who have been legally emancipated from their parents or guardians can get married in Illinois without parental consent. Emancipation grants individuals under the age of 18 the legal rights and responsibilities of an adult, including the ability to enter into a marriage contract.

2. Parental Consent: Minors between the ages of 16 and 17 can get married in Illinois if they obtain written consent from both parents or legal guardians. This consent must be presented at the time of applying for a marriage license. If one parent is deceased or has been declared legally incompetent, the consent of the surviving parent or guardian is sufficient.

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3. Court Approval: In exceptional cases, minors under the age of 16 can get married in Illinois with the approval of a judge. The court must find that the marriage is in the best interest of the minor and that they have the capacity to consent to the marriage. This requirement aims to protect minors from potential exploitation or coercion.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can a 16-year-old marry without parental consent in Illinois?
A: No, individuals under the age of 18 require parental consent to get married in Illinois.

Q: Is there a waiting period to get married in Illinois?
A: Yes, there is a one-day waiting period from the date of obtaining the marriage license. In exceptional cases, this waiting period can be waived by a court order.

Q: Can a 17-year-old marry a person over 18 without parental consent in Illinois?
A: No, individuals under the age of 18 still require parental consent even if they are marrying someone over 18.

Q: Can a 15-year-old get married in Illinois?
A: In rare cases, a 15-year-old can get married in Illinois with court approval and provided that it is determined to be in their best interest.

Q: What happens if someone gets married without meeting the legal age requirements in Illinois?
A: Marriages that do not meet the legal age requirements are considered void and may be annulled.


Understanding the legal marriage age in Illinois is essential for anyone considering marriage, as it ensures compliance with state laws and regulations. While the general rule is that individuals must be 18 or older to get married, there are exceptions for emancipated minors, with parental consent, or with court approval. It is crucial to consult legal professionals or local authorities for specific advice and guidance regarding the marriage age requirements in Illinois.

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