Georgia Marriage Laws
§ 19-3-37 - Parental consent to marriage of underage applicants; when necessary; how obtained
(a) Definitions. As used in this Code section, the term: (1) "Guardian" shall be held to include the same relationships between spouses as the relationships described in paragraph (2) of this subsection between parents and means: (A) Any person at least five years older than the applicant standing in loco parentis to the applicant for at least two years; (B) Any person at least five years older than the applicant with whom the applicant has lived for at least two years and who has or would be allowed to claim the applicant as a dependent for the purposes of a federal dependent income tax deduction; (C) Any relative by blood or marriage at least five years older than the applicant and with whom the applicant has lived at least two years, when the whereabouts of the applicant's parents are unknown; or (D) A court appointed guardian. (2) "Parent" means: (A) Both parents if the parents are living together; (B) The parent who has legal custody if the parents are divorced, separated, or widowed; or (C) Either parent if the parents are living together but one parent is unavailable because of illness or infirmity or because he is not within the boundaries of this state or because physical presence is impossible. (b) When parental consent required; how obtained. In cases where the parties applying for a license are 16 or 17 years of age, their ages to be proved to the judge of the probate court as provided in Code Section 19-3-36, the parents or guardians of each underage applicant shall appear in person before the judge and consent to the proposed marriage, provided that if physical presence because of illness or infirmity is impossible, an affidavit by the incapacitated parent or guardian along with an affidavit signed by a licensed attending physician stating that the parent or guardian is physically incapable of being present shall suffice. The licensed attending physician shall include only those physicians licensed under Chapter 34 of Title 43 or under corresponding requirements pertaining to licensed attending physicians in sister states. (c) Alternative methods for obtaining parental consent. (1) When the parents or guardians of any underage applicants requiring parental consent reside within the state but in a county other than the county where the marriage license is to be issued, it shall not be necessary for the parents or guardians to appear in person before the judge of the probate court of the latter county and consent to the proposed marriage, if the parents or guardians appear in person and consent to the proposed marriage before the judge of the county in which they reside. (2) Where the parents or guardians of any underage applicants requiring parental consent reside outside the state, it shall not be necessary for the parents or guardians to appear in person before the judge of the probate court and consent to the proposed marriage, if the parents or guardians appear in person before the judicial authority of their county who is authorized to issue marriage licenses and consent to the proposed marriage before the judicial authority. If the parents or guardians are physically incapable of being present because of illness or infirmity, the illness or infirmity may be attested to by an attending physician licensed in such state, as is provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section. (3) Where the alternate provisions for parental consent are utilized under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, the parents or guardians shall obtain a certificate from the judge of the probate court or the proper judicial officer before whom they have appeared with the seal and title of the official appearing thereon, the certificate containing information to the effect that the parents or guardians appeared before the judge or judicial officer and consented to the proposed marriage.◀︎ Back to Georgia Marriage Laws ︎︎︎︎︎◀︎ Back to Marriage Laws Home
HISTORY: Orig. Code 1863, § 1661; Code 1868, § 1704; Code 1873, § 1705; Code 1882, § 1705; Civil Code 1895, § 2419; Civil Code 1910, § 2938; Ga. L. 1924, p. 53, § 2; Ga. L. 1927, p. 224, § 1; Code 1933, § 53-204; Ga. L. 1965, p. 335, § 4; Ga. L. 1967, p. 31, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 382, § 1; Ga. L. 1972, p. 193, § 5; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1719, § 3; Ga. L. 2006, p. 141, § 6C/HB 847.