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How Young is Too Young for Marriage? Minimum Age of 16 in United States

Earlier this month reports that an 8-year-old Yemen girl died from internal injuries she suffered on her wedding night sparked international outrage. Local officials are denying the story is true, calling it all rumors. Officials even report that the girl's father has brought her to the police station as proof the reported incident never happened.

Hooria Mashhour, Yemen's human rights minister is trying to target the outrage on the bigger issue. According to Mashhour, "many child marriages take place every year in Yemen." Mashhour wants the practice of child marriage to be outlawed. Currently, Yemen law does not have a minimum age requirement for marriage. Human Rights Watch, a human rights group, reports that more than half of all young girls in Yemen are married before 18 and 14% are married before age 15.

In 2009 legislation was passed in Yemen's parliament that raised the minimum age of marriage to 17. The legislation was never signed into law because it was found to be un-Islamic. Conservative Yemen's claimed that because Islamic law does not have a minimum age of marriage having a Yemen law with a minimum age of marriage would violate Islamic law.

Human Rights Watch is advocating for a minimum marriage age of 18 to become the new law in Yemen. This requirement would be similar to the minimum age requirement of most states in the United States of America. Most states, including Illinois, require the couple to be at least 18 to get married without parental permission. In Illinois, 16 and 17 year olds can get married with parental permission but no one under the age of 16 can get married.

For more information on the minimum marriage age, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.

Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/15/world/meast/yemen-child-bride/index.html and http://www.usmarriagelaws.com/search/united_states/teen_marriage_laws/

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