Can I marry my boyfriend without parental consent if I’m 16?

He is over 18. My mother does not know that I am with him; I’m terrified she will try and press charges against him. He takes amazing care of me, buying me clothes, food, my necessities and will soon be paying for my education. We have talked about marriage on multiple occations and have agreed that if we can do it legally before I’m 18 then we will take the steps in doing so. Is there any legal way in which we can get married without my mother’s consent? I have a father who is in a state prison, would it be possible to marry my boyfriend if I managed to get my father’s consent, I would like this option to be a last resort. Or could we get married without either of my parents’ consent. We are willing to get married in another state if their laws allow that if mine does not.

Asked on June 18, 2016 under Family Law, Tennessee


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In TN, a person get married without parental consent but only if they are 18 years of age or older. A minor may get married if they are at least 16 years old but only with the consent of their parents (or legal guardian). A minor may also get married without parental consent if they obtain judicial consent (i.e. court approval) if the parents are "absent" (i.e. the parents and child are estranged, the child has been emancipated, the parents are dead, etc.).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.