New Legislation Should End Child Marriage In New York State
It will soon likely be illegal for 14-year-olds’ in the Hudson Valley and across to the state to get married.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he is advancing new legislation to end child marriage by raising the age of consent to marry from 14 to 18-years-old in New York.
"New Yorkers will be shocked when they learn this law has been in place for so many years, and with this new legislation, we will put an end child marriage, give our young people a voice, and provide the rights and protections to minors that they deserve," Governor Cuomo said. "This is a major step forward in our efforts to protect children, prevent forced marriages, and create a safer and more just New York for all."
The current minimum age to marry in New York State is 14. If a child is 16 or 17, she can marry with parental consent. If a child is 14 or 15, she can marry with parental consent plus the approval of the court. The law dates back to 1929.
Two weeks ago, Assemblywoman Amy Pauli (D-Westchester) introduced legislation to change child marriage laws in the state.
Cuomo’s bill raises the age of consent to marry to 18, makes it illegal to get married under the age of 17, requires parental and judicial written consent for New Yorkers between the ages of 17 and 18-years-old to get married and strengthens protections for minors by making it a misdemeanor to issue a marriage license to someone under 18-years-old without parental and judicial written consent.
The new legislation also includes guidance for judges issuing consent for New Yorkers between the ages of 17 and 18 to get married. In order for a judge to consent, they must ensure that neither party has a history of domestic violence, orders of protection issued against them, or is a registered sex offender. The judge must also conduct an in-person interview with the minor.
New York is currently one of three states that allow 14-year-olds to marry, along with Alaska and North Carolina. 27 states have no minimum age.