Teen Pregnancy And Marriage: The Law Permits Teenage Parents to Marry at an Earlier Age .
CHILD CUSTODY: How Lawyers and Judges Determine Custody in Frederick, Maryland
Timothy Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place
Teen pregnancy is a growing issue faced by Frederick Maryland custody lawyers. It is also a growing issue faced by the juvenile justice system, by judges and by parents who are now becoming grandparents. I will not call it a sad reality because these young fathers and mothers need our help not our sympathy.
Some of them (sometimes the best of them) are happy and looking forward to being parents. I recently came across 2 teenage fathers of newborns who I am confident will be wonderful fathers better than some men twice their age. To those who would deride these young parents, I say: I am no advocate of children having children but it’s a fact that these are parents, the quicker we get behind them the better.
The law in Maryland provides for teenage marriage and teenage pregnancy. In Maryland an individual seeking to be married and to get a marriage license must be eighteen (18) years of age. There are exceptions in the family law code for teenagers age seventeen (17), age sixteen (16) or even teenage mothers younger than age sixteen (16).
Maryland Family Law Code section 2-301 deals with teen marriage and teen pregnancy. The law provides that individuals age seventeen (17) or age sixteen (16) may be provided a marriage license if he/she has permission of a parent and that parent is prepared to swear that the teenager is at least sixteen years of age OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE if a physician will certify that the woman seeking to get married is pregnant or has already given birth. See 2-301(a).
For persons younger than age sixteen (16) they may be provided a marriage license if they have permission of a parent AND a physician will certify that the woman seeking to get married is pregnant or has given birth. See 2-302 (b)
NONE of the above shall be used or construed to be legal advice regarding the legality of marrying or having sex with a person under age eighteen. In the words of one judge BE WARNED “17 may get you 20!”
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