Court: 15-year-old girls can marry

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Nevada_MO_Guy, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Nevada_MO_Guy

    Nevada_MO_Guy Missouri_Karate_Guy

    DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- A 15-year-old girl can enter into a common-law marriage in Colorado, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. Younger girls and boys may also be able to marry.

    While the three-judge panel stopped short of setting a specific minimum age for such marriages, it said they could be legal for girls at 12 and boys at 14 under English common law, which Colorado recognizes.

    15 year old wife

    What the? :confused:
  2. KageAkuma

    KageAkuma Valued Member

    ......Why would you even want to get married that young? Seriously. This world is starting to go to some interesting places.
  3. firecoins

    firecoins Armchair General

    well the cout is legalizing gay marriage and super young marriage. How about an amendment to just ban heterosexual marriage on top og homosexual marriage?
  4. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    I know people who've gotten married at 15 and 16.
  5. AZeitung

    AZeitung The power of Grayskull

    Yes, but you live in Alabamba. I'll be you know some people who have married their cousins. :D
  6. prowla

    prowla Valued Member

    I didn't know about that law in the UK - maybe it went over with the pilgrim fathers?
    Anyway, 15 (let alone 12) is too young to make that commitment.
    One of the things that has happened over time in the "western world" (I guess Christian culture) is that our childhoods have been extended.
    Kids should continue to take advantage of that and put off the time they enter the rat-race for as long as possible.
  7. ryanTKD

    ryanTKD New Member

    I find that highly offensive... wait no I don't, just extremely funny! Bwah!
  8. MAnewbie

    MAnewbie Valued Member

    Starting to go to interesting places? This is how it has been for most of human history.

    Although I also find it strange for 15 year olds to get married, I find it a bit strange that most don't have a problem with children having sex at 15, but marriage is a problem.
  9. Blake_AE

    Blake_AE Valued Member

    They'll consummate the marriage with an ice cream.
  10. wrydolphin

    wrydolphin Pirates... yaarrrr Supporter

    The reason the courts ruled in favor of the marriage is that few states have many laws applying to common law marriages. Especially beginning them as the only thing that has been concentrated on is the ending of them. If you don't have a law that says common law marriages are illegal for those under a certain age, you can't rule against it. Simple as that.

    Though I wouldn't be surprised if someone is working up a law against it at this moment. Though I doubt highly that it would be retroactive.
  11. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    Just to take away a bit of the edge people are seeing with this ruling, here's a quick run-down of what it takes to form a "common law marriage" (may differ slightly in your jurisdiction):

    The essential distinctions of a common law marriage are:

    Common law marriages are not licensed by government authorities.
    Common law marriages are not blessed by religious authorities.
    Common law marriages are not solemnized.
    There is no public record of a common law marriage (i.e., no marriage certificate).
    In most jurisdictions, cohabitation alone does not amount to common law marriage; the couple in question must hold themselves out to the world to be husband and wife.
    In some jurisdictions, a couple must have cohabited and held themselves out to the world as husband and wife for a minimum length of time for the marriage to be recognised as valid.

    It's actually a very difficult standard to meet because of the last two requirements. Just saying "this is my 12 year old wife" as a 14 year old husband is not sufficient. "Holding yourself out to be a couple" means more than just holding hands in public; it entails all the things adult couples do in terms of finances, decision-making, etc. Realistically, I think that common law marriages for children are, for all intents and purposes, a legal nullity.
  12. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    Usually, when they get married that young it's due to extenuating circumstances (having a baby, or something).

    In some other cultures, people get married that young regularly (I think).
  13. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Which "other cultures" do you mean? Mississippi? Oklahoma? :confused:

    (Tries to remember other states near Alabama, and fails.)
  14. prowla

    prowla Valued Member

    In the UK, the legal age of consent is 16, which by definition outlaws common-law marriage younger than that.
  15. Nevada_MO_Guy

    Nevada_MO_Guy Missouri_Karate_Guy

    Good points. Sounds like you are right on the money, here is a Colorado specific definition.


    A common law marriage in Colorado is valid for all purposes, the same as a ceremonial marriage. It can be terminated only by death or divorce. The common law elements of a valid marriage are that the couple (1) is free to contract a valid ceremonial marriage, i.e., they are not already married to someone else; (2) holds themselves out as husband and wife; (3) consents to the marriage; (4) cohabits; and (5) has the reputation in the community as being married. The single most important element under common law was the mutual consent of the couple presently to be husband and wife. All the rest was considered evidence of this consent or exchange of promises. The only time requirement necessary was time enough reasonably to establish these circumstances.

    Common law marriage is a term used to describe a marriage which has not complied with the statutory requirements most states have enacted as necessary for a ceremonial marriage. The name came from the fact that these marriages were recognized as valid under the common law of England. In 1877, the United States Supreme Court stated, in an action which questioned the validity of a nonceremonial marriage, that marriages which were valid under common law were still valid unless the state passed a statute specifically forbidding them. Meisher v. Moore, 96 U.S. 76 (1877). Since the Colorado legislature has never enacted such a statute, Colorado is part of the minority of states which recognize the validity of common law marriages.
  16. NewLearner

    NewLearner Valued Member

    Historically, many girls got married as young as 12-13. Many didn't live past their twenties.

    Likewise, I find that it is crazy to think a 15 year old is mature enough to have sex but not to marry. Reasonably, both partners should be adults.
  17. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    A very large part of the world gets married as young as 15 or younger and many of them are arranged marriages on top of that.

    Granted their societies are quite a bit different in terms of social structure than would be the state of Colorado.

    If memory serves... Colorado (excepting the Republic of Boulder) is rather conservative. I'm surprised this one passed the courts.
  18. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    Oh, and btw, the title of this thread... "misleading".

    The lower courts still have to determine if they had a valid marriage under the common law.

    I really hate when (what appear to be) non-lawyers try to explain what happened in a courtroom... straight for the sensation, facts be damned (and yes, I have seen that one first hand!).

Share This Page