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McClellan wants to raise the legal age for marriage to 18

January 12, 2016 8:00 am by

From the recently introduced HB703 via Richmond Sunlight:

Legal age for marriage; 18 years of age. Provides that both parties to a marriage must be 18 years of age or older or emancipated at the time of solemnization by removing exceptions that allow marriage at a minimum age of 16 with the consent of the parent or guardian or younger than 16 in the case of pregnancy and with the consent of the parent or guardian and provides that marriages entered into in violation of this law are voidable.

The bill provides a process by which a minor may register a foreign emancipation order in the Commonwealth. The bill also allows a party who was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage to petition the court for affirmation of the marriage once he has reached the age of 18. The bill further provides that a person who (i) marries a person under the age of 18 or causes a person under the age of 18 to be married or (ii) knowingly removes or causes the removal of a person under the age of 18 from the Commonwealth for the purposes of marriage shall be confined for up to six months in jail or fined up to $500.

There is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the person being prosecuted was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage or compelled by force, threat, persuasion, menace, or duress to marry against his will.


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