Lawmakers aim to change underage marriage law

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of state lawmakers is looking at raising the marriage age in Michigan following a Target 8 investigation that revealed some girls are becoming wives as young as age 14.

"I just heard about this from WOOD TV today," Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said Wednesday. "I am outraged, outraged that a parent would allow their 14-year-old daughter to be married to an older man."

Currently in Michigan, there is no minimum age for marriage. A person can consent to marriage at the age of 18. Between the ages of 16 and 18, one parent must give written consent. Under the age of 14, a parent must consent and a judge must also give approval. The rules, which date back to the 1880s, have led to teen girls being coerced into saying, "I do."

Senators who spoke to 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday were shocked to learn it was happening, even though there can be dozens or even hundreds of such marriages each year. They aren't widely known because the records are sealed under state law.

Full story on WOODTV


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