Teen Marriage and Divorce

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The marriage that takes place between two adolescents belonging to the age group of 13 to 19 is called Teen Marriage. It is observed that teen marriages were frequent in 20th century. However, presently it is seen that teen marriage raises the risk of divorce by two to three times. Teen marriages are generally marked by complications and these often terminate in a dissolution. In the US, about 50 percent of the teen marriages result into a divorce in less than 15 years of married life. One third of the teen marriages terminate in divorce by the time the couples attain the age of twenty five.

Statistics prove that a majority of teen marriages face divorce within the first three years of married life. This results in disillusionment for the divorced couple. Further, the divorced spouses try to rebuild their lives, continue their education or share time with children, if any.

Laws regarding Teen Marriage

Teen marriages are not preferred as they have a very high dissolution rate. Also, marrying at a younger age can prove risky in the matters concerning health and career. During teen age, there are lesser chances that a person can handle their financial responsibility. So, the married life of such teen couples becomes difficult. The laws pertaining teen marriage are as follow -

  • The latest marriage license laws in the US endorse the belief that teen marriage is not a good idea

  • In the US, all the states (except Nebraska) ascertain that the teenager has to be at least 18 years of age if they wish to marry without having support or protection from parents. In Nebraska, this age is 19

  • If there is a pregnancy, few states waive the age requirement mentioned in the previous point in order to ensure the welfare of the child. However, the couple must have legal permission

  • In some states, if a teen has a child or is pregnant, the court permits this teenager to get married even the parents do not agree with such union. But, such a couple must procure a permission from the court

  • If a person is aged 16 or less and does not have parental approval for marriage, but has court approval, the marriage is permissible by law

Hurdles in Teen Marriage that lead to divorce

  • If a teen marries, they must be financially independent. The teenager, who has a job, finds that college education is time consuming and expensive and hence cannot be accommodated in the routine. Thus, they do not complete their education. Under these circumstances, a teen experiences more stress and strain in a married life

  • From the employer's perspective, teenagers are unreliable. So they face problems in getting hired for a well paying job. They can merely expect minimum wages. Even if both the spouses work hard, it is very challenging to make ends meet. If the couple has children, they may prevent full time employment. In a nutshell, the financial scenario is not very rosy

  • A teenager cannot procure contract cell phones or celebrate legally with alcohol. There are some restrictions on the married teen couple that they have to follow to maintain the social norms

  • As a teenager is too young to sign leases or other contracts; the teen couple has to reside with some adult. Thus, there are residential problems. There is less possibility that a person marrying during teen age would be able to attain financial stability till the age of twenty five. Thus, the dependency period may go on increasing

  • When a teen gets married, they are not certain of their individuality. As age increases, this person develops new interests, changes and grows. With age, the couple may feel that they are not compatible for each other

  • A teenager usually does not possess self confidence or maturity. This results in anger and jealousy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed out that teen marriages are marked by domestic violence. This situation gives rise to legal problems. Under such circumstances, children may be banished from the household

The procedure for Teen divorce

The divorce process for teen marriages is the same that of adult marriages. Many a times, it is observed that a lawyer or attorney forms the essential part of the divorce procedure. The teens are not that matured to handle a mutual divorce procedure. Therefore, the divorce case often ends in a contested divorce. The effects of divorce in teenagers are quite serious. The emotional development of the teen couples is still in the process. So, they have to struggle hard to accept the breakup of the marriage. Also, their career may suffer because of divorce at an early age. There are various support groups that help such teenagers to come out of the after-effects of a divorce and start a new life.

Teen marriage and divorce is an important aspect of the society. Thus, it should be given a proper attention by the legal and social authorities.

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