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Modernizing Marriage Laws For Minors

Concerning modernizing marriage laws related to minors, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2019 Regular Session
Children & Domestic Matters
Courts & Judicial
Bill Summary

Marriage of underage persons - issuance of marriage license - rights and conditions - appropriation. The act prohibits persons under 16 years of age from obtaining a marriage license. A person who is 16 or 17 years of age may only obtain a marriage license if a juvenile court determines that the underage party is capable of assuming the responsibilities of marriage and that the marriage would serve the underage party's best interests. Prior to making this determination, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the underage party to investigate the underage party's circumstances and best interests and to file a report with the court addressing the factors listed in the act and stating a position regarding whether the issuance of a marriage license is in the underage party's best interests. The act authorizes the juvenile court to appoint a guardian ad litem for purposes of judicial consent for underage marriage.

The act clarifies that an underage married person has certain rights under law, including the right to establish a separate domicile from the married person's parents; the right to file motions and petitions in the married person's own name; the right to enter into enforceable contracts, including leases for housing; and the right to consent to their own medical care.

The act clarifies that both parties to a proxy marriage must be 18 years of age.

The act prohibits complete social security numbers from appearing on marriage forms and certificates issued by county clerks and recorders and allows certain documents to prove the applicant's identity.

For the 2019-20 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $59,850 from the general fund to the judicial department for use by the office of the child's representative for operating expenses and for court-appointed counsel.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details