When a person under 18 wants to get married, there are special rules. The rules are different in every state. In California, a person under 18 must get both their biological parents’ permission and court approval to get married. Also, even though there is no minimum age for getting married in California, the court usually does not approve marriages for minors under 16.
When you get married, it emancipates you and you will become a legal adult. You will lose all of the benefits of foster care including subsidized or free housing, food, and many other types of funding. You may want to talk to your lawyer to help you understand the legal pros and cons of getting married at this point in your life.
If you are thinking of getting married and you live in Los Angeles County, you should see a lawyer or visit the Self-Help Center at your local courthouse to get the forms you need to ask for the court’s permission to marry. After you fill out your forms and file them with the court, you will be given an appointment to meet with a social worker from Family Court Services who will interview you to see if they think you are mature enough to get married. The social worker will then make a recommendation to the judge about whether or not to approve your request to get married.
If the judge approves your request to get married, the court will give you a court order. You should take a certified copy of the court order to your local County Clerk’s office when you submit your marriage license application. You must also bring photo ID and a notarized statement from your parent or guardian giving permission for you to marry.