By Jedidiah McKeehan

It isn’t very common in this day and age and in this country for individuals to get married when they are extremely young.  It used to be much more common.  You may have heard of individuals getting married before they have even turned 18 years old.

But what is the age at which individuals can legally get married in Tennessee today?  Well, Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-3-105 states that it is unlawful for individuals to get married who are not at least 16 years of age.  That is actually older than it used to be.  The law used to say that if you were 15 years old, you could get married as long as you had parental consent to the marriage.  Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-3-106 now states that if anyone wants to get married who is under the age of 18, they have to get parental consent to the marriage by their parent or legal guardian.

If anyone somehow does get married before either the bride or the groom is 16 years old, then that marriage can be annulled (meaning the law views the marriage as having never happened), if either of the parties desires to back out of the marriage.

I have no idea how often 16 years olds (meaning they are possibly sophomores in high school!) are chomping at the bit to get married, but if they want to get married, in Tennessee it’s legal for them to do so.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.