At What Age Can a Girl Do Court Marriage in India?

Court marriage in India offers a legal avenue for couples to marry without the constraints of religious or cultural customs. However, certain legal requirements, including age restrictions, must be met to solemnize a court marriage. Here’s a detailed look at the age criteria for a girl to do court marriage in India.

Legal Age for Court Marriage

In India, the legal age for marriage varies based on gender and applicable laws. For a girl, the legal age to do court marriage is 18 years. This is stipulated by various legal statutes, including:

  1. The Special Marriage Act, 1954:
    • This act provides a secular framework for marriage and sets the minimum age of marriage at 18 years for girls.
  2. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006:
    • This act prohibits the solemnization of child marriages and defines a child as any person below the age of 18 years.

Key Points to Consider

  1. Consent and Autonomy:
    • The legal age requirement is established to ensure that individuals have reached a level of maturity necessary for making such a significant life decision. It emphasizes the importance of informed consent and autonomy in marriage.
  2. Protection Against Child Marriage:
    • Setting a minimum age for marriage helps protect individuals, especially girls, from the harmful consequences of child marriage. Child marriages often result in the curtailment of educational opportunities, health risks, and other socio-economic challenges.
  3. Legal Recognition:
    • Marriages contracted by individuals below the legal age are considered voidable and can be annulled at the request of the minor party. Therefore, ensuring compliance with age requirements is essential for obtaining legal recognition of the marriage.

Procedure for Court Marriage

The procedure for court marriage involves several steps, including:

  1. Notice of Intended Marriage:
    • The couple must give notice of their intention to marry to the Marriage Officer of the district where at least one of them has resided for a minimum of 30 days.
  2. Publication of Notice:
    • The notice is publicly displayed for 30 days to allow for objections. This is a mandatory step to ensure that there are no legal impediments to the marriage.
  3. Objection Period:
    • If no objections are raised during the notice period, the marriage can proceed. If objections are raised, they must be legally valid and resolved before the marriage can be solemnized.
  4. Solemnization of Marriage:
    • After the notice period and resolution of any objections, the marriage is solemnized in the presence of the Marriage Officer and three witnesses. A marriage certificate is then issued, legally recognizing the union.


In summary, the legal age for a girl to do court marriage in India is 18 years. This age requirement is established to ensure that individuals enter into marriage with informed consent and autonomy, protecting them from the risks associated with child marriage.

By complying with legal age requirements and following the prescribed procedures, couples can solemnize their marriage through court marriage, obtaining legal recognition and protection for their union.

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