updated 06/21/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/21/2011 AT 5:45 PM ET
While it may be unusual, is marrying a 16-year-old who is 35 years your junior illegal? The short answer appears to be no – at least, not in Vegas.
Lost actor Doug Anthony Hutchison, 51, and aspiring singer Courtney Alexis Stodden, 16, caused a stir with the news that they wed in Las Vegas in May. But according to the marriage license page of the Clark County, Nevada website, it’s pretty easy. Minor applicants who are 16 and 17 years old can obtain a marriage license with two things: An original or certified copy of their birth certificate, and a parent or legal guardian who will provide his or her consent.
The young bride’s mother, Krista Stodden, told Radar Online that she approves of her daughter’s marriage despite the couple’s 35-year age difference, and that at least one of Courtney’s parents did sign the necessary permission form.
“Doug is the nicest man I’ve ever met in my life,” father Alex Stodden, who at 47 is four years younger that his son-in-law, adds.
A family law specialist adds to E! Online that the marriage should legally be recognized in every other state as well.