Connecticut – End Child Marriage

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TIPS meeting talking about child marriage
Presentation to TIPS

The Justice of the Peace Association is strongly opposed to any marriage that involves minor children. The association’s membership is also opposed, stating that they would not perform such ceremonies. In Connecticut, 16 and 17 year olds can marry with parental and judicial consent. The fight continues to raise the age to 18 in Connecticut. No exceptions.

Legislative Activity


JPus worked actively with state officials, legislators and other stakeholders to bring a bill forward during the 2022 legislative session. Since it was a “short session,” we experienced many challenges – just to get a bill introduced! Despite many supporters, we couldn’t overcome the hurdles.  This, despite the leadership of Representatives Jillian Gilchrest and Kerry Wood. However, we made some important connections with stakeholders. Eventually, this will help progress legislation next year:

  • Task Force on Justice for Abused Children
  • TIPS: Traffic in Persons Council
  • HART: Human Anti-trafficking Response Team

Representative Kerry Wood introduced HB5920 An act prohibiting a minor from entering into marriage in 2021. Unfortunately, it did not make it out of the Judiciary Committee.

Consequently, JPus is working with stakeholders to create a plan to successfully bring this bill for a vote in 2022.


Effective October 1, 2017, a parent and a Probate Court Judge’s approval is required for anyone aged 16 or 17 to wed. Also, 16 is now the minimum legal age to marry;  previously there was no minimum age. Connecticut’s law was watered down from its original effort to ban all marriages for individuals younger than 18 years.

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