Immigration and Human Rights Law Review


The practice of child marriage is often discussed in the context of developing countries and many people find it unthinkable that child marriage also occurs in developed countries such as the United States of America. However, child marriage is a serious problem in the United States that affects thousands of children each year. This comment reviews the loopholes in state marriage laws. Part II considers the scope of child marriage as a human rights violation and the effects of child marriage. It also provides a background of the loopholes in state marriage laws, and a focus on the marriage laws of California, Alaska, Delaware, and New Jersey as examples of the different approaches states have chosen in enacting their marriage laws. Part III provides an analysis of the problem with the exceptions in the marriage laws. Part IV analyzes the case law and legislative history of the different approaches taken by different states. Finally, Part V suggests the approach state laws should take in eliminating the existing loopholes.