The Minimum age to Legally Marry in New York is Now 17

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Law & Policy

In a move to eliminate child marriage, New York state has raised the legal marriage age to 17.  The change went into effect recently after lawmakers cast a vote to rewrite a state law that allowed children as young as 14-years-old to legally tie the knot.

The new rules, stipulate that anyone 17-years-old must receive judicial approval before marrying.  Until the rules were re-written, New York, North Carolina, and Alaska allowed 14-year-olds to marry.

More than 3,800 minors were married in New York between 2000 and 2010. Supporters of the new rules say child brides are often forced to give up economic and educational opportunities and are frequently the victims of domestic violence.

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