Can you believe that you only have to be 16 to tie the knot here in Idaho?  Yeah.  And believe it or not, that age is high compared to a lot of states in the U.S.  Some go as low as 12-year-olds can be married off with parental consent.  What?  12?  Half the kids can't tie their own shoes at 12.

Here's what the current law states according to Idaho Code Section 32-202

  • Anyone 18 years of age or older is considered a legally consent to marriage
  • Young men and women ages 16 and 17 years old can also marry, with the consent of the parent or guardian.
  • Children under the age of 16 can get a license to marry with written parental consent and a court order. A hearing will be held on the petition to marry under the age of 16 and the minors must be found physically and mentally developed to assume full marital and parental duties as proven by the testimony of a physician, or it must be in the “best interest of society” that the marriage be permitted.

My problem with 16-year-olds getting married is that most of them do it out of some type of pressure, whether it be from their parents, who their dating, peers, teachers, you name it.  A lot of these marriages take place because of pregnancies or sexual relations that may be frowned upon because of religion or society or other reasons.  Can we honestly say that any 16-year-old in our society today is ready to marry?  I can't make an argument for that.  Here are some things to think about according to Teen Marriage / Live About as to what happens when teenagers do get married...

  • High poverty rates throughout life
  • High school drop out rates
  • More than half will divorce within 15 years
  • Teen brides statistically are abused more

Teen marriage only comes about with parental consent here in Idaho.  It's my opinion that this is a type of child abuse that often occurs through uneducated people who have no idea abuse is taking place.  When I say uneducated, I don't mean through schooling.  I mean USE YOUR BRAIN!  Give your child the best chance at a good life.  And don't try to shovel this B.S. down their throat about how it's the right thing to do to get married at 16 because your pregnant or whatever other reason you come up with.  It is NOT o.k. to get married at 16!