But what if she’s pregnant? Comments on minimum age to marry by Kaine Fisher, partner, director of Family Law

Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, leads a part of the budget vote. /Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times

Can’t buy cigarettes and can’t get married

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Saying 18 is plenty young enough, a Scottsdale lawmaker wants to repeal existing Arizona laws that allow children of any age to get married.

The proposal by Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, would make it illegal for the clerk of superior courts in any of the state’s 15 counties to issue a marriage license to anyone younger than 18. Specifically, H2006 would undo laws that allow anyone age 16 or 17 to marry with permission of a parent.

But the measure also addresses the fact that in Arizona, there actually is no minimum age. All it takes is permission of a superior court judge.

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“It’s incomprehensible to think the legislature has not established a minimum age regarding the right to marry.  There are age limits for just about everything else. That said, the 18year-old age limit seems like a logical place to draw a line in the sand, but sadly, in light of the number of teenagers having children these days, I wonder if permitting these young  parents to get married may have some benefits in terms of financial security of the family unit. I would be interested to see some research on this point before casting my vote to preclude marriages for people under the age of 18.”

~ Kaine Fisher  

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