Family & Relationships

For information on Marriage


Throughout the United Kingdom and the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, the minimum legal age for getting married is 16 years.

In England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, the written consent of your parents, or legal guardians, is required if you are under 18 years of age. In Jersey, your parents' consent is required if you are under 20 years of age and if they live in the Island, they must give their consent in person. In Guernsey, if your parents live in the Island, they must also give their consent in person. In Scotland, no parental consent is required. Where written consent is required, it will normally have to be given on a consent form provided by the registrar.

If consent is required and your parents, or guardians, are not resident in the United Kingdom, their signatures to the consent should be properly witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths, a Consular Officer or a notary member of the public such as a lawyer, police office, Justice of the Peace etc.

In exceptional circumstances, a registrar is empowered to dispense with the consent of any person whose consent would otherwise be required. You should contact the registrar of the registration district in which you plan to marry for further information.

The above information was correct at the time of updating. Please check with your registrars office or relevant authorities for current information.

If you still have any unanswered questions about the minimum age or parental consent requirements of getting married contact the Registrar office on (01534) 441335 or email

Arranged Marriage

In some cultures, arranged marriage is the norm. You may feel this is the best way for you and feel very happy with the situation.

Your parents might be responsible for finding you a suitable partner, or you may take a shine to someone and then arrangements will be made. After marriage you could be living alone with your partner or possibly with your new extended family.

In differnt cultures, different ways are the norm. If you are unsure or unhappy about this, or having difficulty with your living situation, you may wish to talk things through with a third party.

For support contact:

Marriage Care Tel: 020 7371 1341 or check out their website


Relate (Jersey) Tel: (01534) 734980 or email

It is also important to make a clear distinction between arranged marriages that are consensual and marriages that are arranged without the consent of the individuals involved. These are sometimes called Forced Marriages.  Some of the acts involved in forcing someone into a marriage are against the law in this country.

Forced Marriage

If your family arrange for you to marry someone against your will, this is forced marriage. Have you made your wishes clear to them?

If you are being forced into a situation like this against your will, try to talk to someone about it. This is an abuse fo power and it it a criminal offence to force a person to marry who doesn't want to.

If you are forced to marry, the marriage may be void.

Where can I find out more?

Victims of Forced Marriage or tel: 0207 008 0151