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SB-273 Marriage: minors.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/21/2017 09:00 PM
SB273:v93#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 21, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  May 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  May 15, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  May 03, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 24, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 20, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 273


Introduced by Senator Hill

February 09, 2017


An act to amend Sections 302, 303, 304, 1501, and 2210 of the Family Code, relating to marriage.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 273, as amended, Hill. Marriage: minors.
Existing law authorizes an unmarried person who is under 18 years of age to marry upon obtaining a court order granting permission and the written consent of at least one of the parents or the guardian of each underage party to the marriage, as specified. Existing law requires the court, if it considers it necessary, as part of the court order granting permission to marry, to require the parties to the prospective marriage of a minor to participate in premarital counseling, as specified.
This bill would require the court, in determining whether to issue an order granting permission to marry, to require Family Court Services to separately interview the parties intending to marry and at least one of the parents or the guardian, as specified, and to require Family Court Services to prepare and submit to the court a written report containing, among other things, recommendations for either granting or denying the parties permission to marry. If Family Court Services knows or reasonably suspects that either party is a victim of child abuse or neglect, the bill would require Family Court Services to submit a report of the known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the county child protective services agency. The bill would also require the court to consider whether there is evidence of coercion or undue influence on the minor.

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The bill would also require the court to separately interview each of the parties, as specified, prior to making a final determination regarding the court order. If the court issues an order granting the parties permission to marry, the bill would make the parties eligible to request a marriage license no earlier than one month from the time the court order was issued.
The bill would require that the minor be provided with specified information, including information regarding the procedures for legal separation or dissolution of marriage, and the rights of a minor to enter into contracts.
This bill would also make conforming changes to related provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 302 of the Family Code is amended to read:

302.
 (a) An unmarried person under 18 years of age is capable of consenting to and consummating marriage may be issued a marriage license upon obtaining a court order granting permission to the underage person or persons to marry, in accordance with the requirements described in Section 304.
(b) The court order and written consent of at least one of the parents or the guardian of each underage person shall be filed with the clerk of the court, and a certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.

SEC. 2.

 Section 303 of the Family Code is amended to read:

303.
 If it appears to the satisfaction of the court by application of a minor that the minor requires a written consent to marry and that the minor has no parent or has no parent capable of consenting, the court may make an order consenting to the issuance of a marriage license and granting permission to the minor to marry, in accordance with the requirements described in Section 304. The order shall be filed with the clerk of the court and a certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.

SEC. 3.

 Section 304 of the Family Code is amended to read:

304.
 (a) In determining whether to issue a court order granting permission to marry pursuant to Section 302 or 303, the court shall do all of the following:
(1) Require Family Court Services to separately interview the parties intending to marry and, if applicable, at least one of the parents or the guardian of each party who is a minor. If more than one parent or guardian is interviewed, the parents or guardians shall be interviewed separately.
(2) Require Family Court Services to prepare and submit to the court a written report, containing any finding of potential force, threat, persuasion, fraud, coercion, or duress by either of the parties or their family members relating to the intended marriage. The report shall also contain recommendations of Family Court Services for either granting or denying the parties permission to marry. If Family Court Services knows or reasonably suspects that either party is a victim of child abuse or neglect, Family Court Services shall submit a report of the known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the county child protective services agency.
(3) After receiving the report of the findings and recommendations of Family Court Services, as described in paragraph (2), separately interview in camera each of the parties prior to making a final determination regarding the court order.
(4) Consider whether there is evidence of coercion or undue influence on the minor.
(b) If the court issues an order granting the parties permission to marry pursuant to Section 302 or 303, the parties shall be eligible to request a marriage license no earlier than one month from the time the court order was issued.
(c) As part of the court order granting permission to marry under Section 302 or 303, the court shall, if it considers it necessary, require the parties to the prospective marriage of a minor to participate in premarital counseling concerning social, economic, and personal responsibilities incident to marriage. The parties shall not be required, without their consent, to confer with counselors provided by religious organizations of any denomination. In determining whether to order the parties to participate in the premarital counseling, the court shall consider, among other factors, the ability of the parties to pay for the counseling. The court may impose a reasonable fee to cover the cost of any premarital counseling provided by the county or the court. The fees shall be used exclusively to cover the cost of the counseling services authorized by this section.
(d) Upon issuance of the order granting permission to marry, the minor shall be provided with the following information:
(1) The rights and responsibilities of an emancipated minor, including, but not limited to, the effects of emancipation as described in Sections 7050 to 7052, inclusive.
(2) (A) The circumstances under which a marriage may be determined by a court to be void or voidable and adjudged a nullity and the procedure for obtaining that judicial determination.
(B) The procedures for legal separation or dissolution of marriage.
(3) Telephone numbers for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
(4) The conditions under which an unemancipated minor may leave home and seek to remain in a shelter or otherwise live separately from his or her parent or guardian, and whether the consent or acquiescence of a parent or guardian is required to remain away from the home of the parent or guardian, the rights of an unemancipated minor to apply for a protective or restraining order to prevent abuse, and the rights of a minor to enter into contracts, including contracts for legal services and mental health counseling.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1501 of the Family Code is amended to read:

1501.
 A minor may make a valid premarital agreement or other marital property agreement if the minor is emancipated, is otherwise capable of contracting marriage pursuant to Section 302 or 303, or has entered or is entering a marriage that is valid in the jurisdiction where the marriage is solemnized.

SEC. 5.

 Section 2210 of the Family Code is amended to read:

2210.
 A marriage is voidable and may be adjudged a nullity if any of the following conditions existed at the time of the marriage:
(a) The party who commences the proceeding or on whose behalf the proceeding is commenced was under 18 years of age, unless the party entered into the marriage pursuant to Section 302 or 303.
(b) The spouse of either party was living and the marriage with that spouse was then in force and that spouse (1) was absent and not known to the party commencing the proceeding to be living for a period of five successive years immediately preceding the subsequent marriage for which the judgment of nullity is sought or (2) was generally reputed or believed by the party commencing the proceeding to be dead at the time the subsequent marriage was contracted.
(c) Either party was of unsound mind, unless the party of unsound mind, after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as his or her spouse.
(d) The consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless the party whose consent was obtained by fraud afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as his or her spouse.
(e) The consent of either party was obtained by force, unless the party whose consent was obtained by force afterwards freely cohabited with the other as his or her spouse.
(f) Either party was, at the time of marriage, physically incapable of entering into the marriage state, and that incapacity continues, and appears to be incurable.