BILL SEEKS TO LIMIT MINOR MARRIAGE, FACES OPPOSITION
Family law in California is a complex matter, much more so than many people realize. This is particularly true when it comes to marriage, and some of the laws that govern who can and cannot marry.
Recently, a state senator for California advanced a bill seeking to amend our relatively flexible regulations surrounding underage marriage, but his proposal met with some significant opposition from groups like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The bill seeks to change the age restrictions for minors who want to marry, a legislative move that several other states such as New York and Texas have also recently made. Under the proposal, marriage would only be available to those 18 years of age or older. Currently, the law allows two minors to marry or a minor to marry a legal adult, provided that the minor or minors obtain a letter of permission from at least one of the minor’s parents or guardians and demonstrates to the court that he or she can and does consent to the marriage.
The bill intends to limit the number of children marrying into relationships where the minor is likely to suffer abuse, which is an element of many marriages between minors and adults. However, the groups that oppose the bill contend that the restrictions affect a larger number of individuals whom they believe should retain the right to marry. This suggests, instead, that the law should grant courts more tools to examine relationships for evidence of coercion to protect against potentially predatory relationships.
If you have a family law issue, it is important to understand exactly what the law allows in your state. An experienced family law attorney can help you explore these laws and build a personalized strategy to achieve your goals and protect your interests.
Source: Washington Free Beacon, “In California, Attempts to Ban Child Marriage Meet Opposition,” Charles Fain Lehman, July 06, 2017