Family Law Act 1995

Age of marriage.


31.(1) (a) (i) A marriage solemnised, after the commencement of this section, between persons either of whom is under the age of 18 years shall not be valid in law.

(ii) Subparagraph (i) applies to any marriage solemnised—

(I) in the State, irrespective of where the spouses or either of them are or is ordinarily resident, or

(II) outside the State, if at the time of the solemnisation of the marriage, the spouses or either of them are or is ordinarily resident in the State.

(b) F42[]

(c) The requirement in relation to marriage arising by virtue of paragraph (a) is hereby declared to be a substantive requirement for marriage.

(2) Any person to whom application is made in relation to the solemnisation of an intended marriage may, if he or she so thinks fit, request the production of evidence of age with respect to either or both of the parties concerned.

(3) Where a request is made under subsection (2)

(a) refusal or failure to comply with the request shall be a proper reason for refusal of the application concerned, and

(b) if the request is complied with and the evidence shows that either or both of the parties is or are under the age of 18 years, the application shall be refused.

(4) Where a person knowingly—

(a) solemnises or permits the solemnisation of a marriage which, consequent on the provisions of this section, is not valid in law, or

(b) is a party to such a marriage,

the person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500.




Deleted (1.01.2019) by Domestic Violence Act 2018 (6/2018), s. 45(1)(d), S.I. No. 532 of 2018, subject to transitional provisions in subss. (2), (3).

Modifications (not altering text):


Validity of certain marriages confirmed (5.05.1997) by Family Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997 (18/1997), s. 3(2), commenced on enactment.

Validity in law of certain marriages.

3. — ...

(2) Where, in relation to a marriage, exemption from section 31 (1) (a) or 32 (1) (a) of the Act of 1995, or both of those provisions, was granted, before the passing of this Act, by a judge of the Circuit Family Court who, in relation to the application concerned, was not the appropriate judge having regard to section 38 (4) of the Act of 1995, the marriage shall be and shall be deemed always to have been valid in law if it would have been so valid if the exemption aforesaid had been granted by the judge who, in relation to the application, was the appropriate judge having regard to the said section 38 (4).

Editorial Notes:


A fine of £500 converted (1.01.1999) to €634.86. This translates into a class D fine, not greater than €1,000, as provided (4.01.2011) by Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 7(2) and table ref. no. 2, S.I. No. 662 of 2010.


Party to proposed marriage being under 18 and absence of exemption from the application of subs. (1)(a) stated to be an impediment to marriage for purposes of Civil Registration Act 2004 (3/2004) (5.12.2005) by Civil Registration Act 2004 (3/2004), s. 2(2)(c), S.I. No. 764 of 2005.