The Trouble with Legislating Juvenile Marriage in California

July 10, 2017

KPCC/Southern California
AirTalk

There is currently no age limit for marriages in California. Right now the requirements for minors who want to tie the knot are parental consent and a court order. State senator Jerry Hill proposed a bill that would bar marriage for anyone under 18. SB273 is still moving through legislative committees, but a number of amendments have removed the age limit completely – in it’s current form, the bill adds more oversight from family courts before marriage to a juvenile can be approved.

There is currently no age limit for marriages in California.

Right now the requirements for minors who want to tie the knot are parental consent and a court order. State senator Jerry Hill proposed a bill that would bar marriage for anyone under 18. SB273 is still moving through legislative committees, but a number of amendments have removed the age limit completely – in it’s current form, the bill adds more oversight from family courts before marriage to a juvenile can be approved.

Proponents of a minimum age limit in the California say it will help protect children from coerced marriages. Opponents to a marriage age limit, including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, argue that marriage is a fundamental right and that the current safeguards are strong enough.

Should there be a minimum age requirement to get married in California? Are there situations in which minors should be allowed to get married? Or are there legal loopholes that allow for coercive marriages?

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