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Government & Politics

Bill Would Change Rules on Minors and Marriage

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Dan Konik
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Ohio House Rep. Laura Lanese, R-Grove City

It will be harder for Ohioans under 18 to marry if Gov. John Kasich signs a new bill.

Republican Representative Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) says her bill would still let 17-year-olds wed someone up to four years older if a juvenile court approves and they wait two weeks. She says Ohio has allowed kids 16 years old and younger to get married - often with disastrous results.

“Kids who get married typically have the highest dropout rates from school," Lanese said. "They have incredibly high depression rates and trouble all along the lines and then there are children who are born into these marriages that don’t last. The divorce rate is extraordinarily high.”

The bill also requires documentation of age from anyone seeking a marriage license.