Many states allow people to be married at 16 with parental consent, and people who are 18 or older are allowed to be married without parental consent in all states.
There have been many studies performed over the years about whether people who get married young (before they reach 24 years old) are more likely to get divorced, and these studies have had conflicting results. What is clear is that couples who marry under the age of 18 are twice as likely to get divorced as those who wait until their 20s, but those marriages represent a very small minority of the marriages in the country today.
In general, what’s more important when considering whether you’re ready for marriage is your maturity and life experiences rather than your age. Although age can be at least some type of indicator of your maturity level, it’s definitely not the only one.
The following are some warning signs experts agree indicate would lead to a couple being more likely to divorce when paired with young age:
- It’s the first serious relationship for each person. Dating when you’re 18 and dating when you’re 26 present entirely different experiences. By the time a person reaches the mid- to late-20s, he or she is much more likely to have experienced other relationships and have a good idea of what makes for a healthy potential marriage.
- Each person has different goals or levels of ambition. Being in vastly different places in life even when around the same age as each other can lead to arguments and disdain. For a marriage to work out, you need to have some shared goals for your future.
- There is a lack of serious communication. Younger relationships tend to be more superficial in nature, which does not provide a basis for a strong marriage in the long term.
- Neither person has a serious career or income. Although finances are not the single most important factor to determine a person’s readiness for marriage, they are definitely a factor to consider — especially when you are very young.
For the legal guidance you need on marriage, divorce and related issues, consult a dedicated Tampa family law attorney with the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.