This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.

Search our site


| less than a minute read

16 & 17 year olds can no longer legally marry

A welcome move to protect vulnerable children from being forced into marriage at a young age. 

For most couples the age of marriage is much higher but the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act changes the law so that children under 18 cannot legally marry in England, even if their parents consent to the union. Those still trying to force underage children into early marriage could now be subject to criminal penalties, with sentences of up to 7 years in prison.

Legal age of marriage in England and Wales rises to 18


family law