Minimum age for marriage to be raised to eighteen

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and came into force on 27 February 2023.  The Act raises the minimum age at which couples in England & Wales can be married or enter into a Civil Partnership from 16 to 18.  

Although 16 and 17 year-olds have always required parental consent to be married, the minimum age is being raised in an attempt to end coercive or abusive child marriages. Campaign groups have long been advocating for the age to be raised to make it harder for children to be pushed into marriages which they do not want and which may negatively affect their futures.

The Act does not affect the recognition of any marriages which have already taken place between minors prior to the passing of the legislation.

May 2022