Underage marriage

Marriage of minors

The basic principles of marriage are defined at the international level. In accordance with the UN Convention on Consent to Marriage, Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriage, adopted in 1962, states are recommended to set the age of marriage at least 15 years and are given the right to independently determine the minimum age for marriage.

According to the law, the age for marriage is 18 years (Family Code). At this age, a citizen reaches full legal capacity. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

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Candidate of Legal Sciences
Greetings rozirvannya-shlyubu.com.ua! In the article “Marriage with Minors,” I will talk about the conditions for marriage of minors, permission to marry for minors, the consequences of marriage of minors, and the annulment of marriage of minors. Read the article to the end and contact our law firm for legal assistance in family matters.

The legislator allows, if there are compelling reasons, the registration of spouses from the age of 16, and under certain circumstances, earlier.

The possibility of registration before reaching 16 years of age is regulated at the local level.

Conditions for marriage of minors

According to the law, citizens who have reached the age of sixteen have the right to register a marriage with the registry office if the following conditions are met:

  • request of persons intending to register their relationship;
  • presence of valid reasons;
  • permission from local authorities.

The law does not stipulate what valid reasons must be present to obtain permission. Typically these reasons are:

  • pregnancy;
  • actually established marriage relations, the so-called “civil marriage”;
  • birth of a child;
  • other circumstances indicating a clear need for marriage before citizens reach the age of majority.

After receiving permission from local authorities, individuals submit a joint application to the civil registry office, attaching the received permission. The joint statement confirms mutual voluntary consent to marriage, as well as the absence of reasons preventing its conclusion.

The application can be submitted in person to the civil registry office, sent through a single portal of public services. The legislator allows separate submission of applications if one of the applicants is unable to submit it personally.

Marriage registration takes place in the personal presence of persons after a month from the date of filing the application. In exceptional cases, this period may be reduced, and in the presence of extraordinary circumstances, marriage registration can be carried out on the day the application is submitted.

Minor citizens can marry before they reach 16 years of age if the following conditions are met:

  • the existence of a law regulating the possibility, procedure and conditions for registering a marriage;
  • special circumstances.

The legislation does not provide a list of circumstances under which persons under 16 years of age may enter into marriage. Usually such reasons are pregnancy, childbirth, or a threat to life.

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Consequences of underage marriage

A citizen who registers a marriage before reaching the age of eighteen acquires full legal capacity. This means that from this moment a person can acquire and exercise civil rights, create civil responsibilities for himself and fulfill them in full. Before registering a marriage, a citizen over the age of 14 has partial legal capacity. He has the right, without the consent of parents, guardians, trustees, adoptive parents:

  • manage your wages and other income;
  • exercise the rights of the author of works of literature, art, science and other protected results of intellectual activity;
  • deposit deposits in credit organizations and dispose of them within the limits established by law;
  • carry out small household transactions;
  • From the age of 16, a citizen has the right to be a member of a cooperative.

To perform other actions, minors require the permission of parents, guardians, trustees, and adoptive parents. Due to the fact that he acquires full legal capacity, he has the right to enter into a marriage contract.

In the event of divorce by minors, their full legal capacity is retained. Only if the court declares the marriage invalid, the minor may lose full legal capacity.

Marriage license for minors

Local authorities decide on a case-by-case basis on the urgency of registering a marriage. To resolve this issue, the following documents are required:

  • a written statement from a minor citizen indicating valid reasons;
  • documents confirming valid reasons. This may be a pregnancy certificate, a child’s birth certificate and other documents.

The consent of parents, guardians, trustees, and adoptive parents is not required for the marriage of a minor.

Invalidation of marriage of minors

According to the law, a marriage can be declared invalid as a result of violation of a number of norms established in the Family Code. A marriage is recognized as inconsistent with the law from the date of its registration.

The basis for such recognition is:

  • persons wishing to register their relationship are the adoptive parent and the adopted child;
  • registering a relationship without the goal of starting a family.
  • lack of voluntary consent to the marriage of future spouses
  • failure to comply with the procedure for obtaining permission from local authorities;
  • one of the future spouses is in a registered marriage;
  • future spouses are close relatives;
  • the person has been declared incompetent by a court due to mental illness;
  • one of the spouses has a sexually transmitted disease or HIV infection and deliberately hid this fact from her future husband

Recognition of a marriage as invalid can be carried out upon the claim of a minor spouse, his parents, adoptive parents, guardians, guardianship and trusteeship authorities, a prosecutor and other interested parties and entails the following consequences:

  • do not acquire the rights and obligations of spouses;
  • property acquired by spouses is shared property;
  • the marriage contract is declared invalid.

The recognition of a marriage as invalid does not affect the rights of children born during its period and within 300 days from the date of its recognition as invalid.

The court may refuse a claim to declare a marriage invalid in the following cases:

  • the circumstances of its recognition as such had disappeared by the time the court decision was made;
  • such recognition is contrary to the interests of a minor male;
  • in the absence of consent of spouses who have reached 18 years of age to declare the marriage invalid;
  • the spouses actually created a family (through a fictitious marriage);
  • By the time the court makes its decision, the marriage is dissolved.

A conscientious man whose rights have been violated can demand compensation for moral and material damage caused to him, retain the surname that he had in marriage, as well as demand his maintenance.

Questions from our readers and answers from a consultant
My daughter is 16 years old and she is pregnant with her boyfriend's baby. Can they get married if his parents are against the marriage?
I'm 16 years old and I'm getting married in a week. After marriage, can I organize my own business enterprise and register it in my name?


In Ukraine, in exceptional cases, marriage is allowed from the age of 16, and in the presence of laws of the constituent entities of Ukraine, until the age of 16. To register such a marriage, valid reasons and compliance with the procedure established by law are required. A minor who registers a marriage becomes fully capable.

Failure to comply with the procedure for registering a marriage, as well as violation of other norms of law, entails the court declaring it invalid. The consequences of such recognition do not affect children born to spouses, and also give special rights to conscientious spouses. In the absence of consent of minors, their marriage cannot be declared invalid. 

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Services of a family lawyer

A family lawyer will provide you with legal advice and help you draw up all the necessary documents for the marriage of minors.

We are responsible for the quality of legal services and guarantee a positive result.

With the help of a family lawyer or a lawyer, your case of minor marriage will be resolved more professionally and quickly. 

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