If you are sixteen in Georgia and want to marry someone, you will have to wait a year. That’s because a new law went into place on January 1st raising the legal age to marry from sixteen to seventeen. The law also prohibits seventeen-year-old residents from marrying someone more than four-years older than them.
Georgia is now one of only twelve states in the nation that requires someone to be seventeen to marry. Proponents of the law say that the new age requirement will “prevent teenagers from marrying before they are ready.” Supporters of the law often cite the high divorce rate in the United States as a reason for raising the legal marriage age.
There is some research that backs that idea up. According to an average of over 115 studies on divorce, people who marry before they are eighteen are 48% more likely to have that marriage end in divorce. Some would argue that’s still in line with the overall national average of a 50% divorce rate – according to most studies. However, the studies also show that those who wait until they are twenty-five or older are only 25% likely to get divorced.
Data shows Chattooga County has a of total 15% of adults currently divorced – the highest in our area. (Data) . Twenty-eight percent of Chattooga County adults have never been married; 50% are currently married and 7% are widowed.
Also, studies show that the United States has the 12th-highest divorce rate in the world and January is the most popular month to get divorced in the United States.