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Legal age for marriage in Spain under review

Wed 2th Feb 2011

Spain may raise the minimum legal age where marriage is permitted from 14 to 16 years, Health and Social Policy Minister Leire Pajin said earlier today.

The law currently states that the minimum age for marriage is 18 years, but it can be 16 years of age when both parties are 'independent from their parents'. However, there is a clause in the law declaring that those as young as 14 year are permitted to marry provided they have special permission from a judge who needs to first meet with an interview both the couple and close family members.

Almost 350 people aged 14-15 years have married in Spain since 2000. The Spanish newspaper, El Mundo , reported how the government is concerned that this can lead to child abuse, and in some cases arranged marriages.

Legal professionals reviewing current legislation in order to provide better levels of protect for children were considering raising the marriage age, though no final decision has yet been reached.

The legal age where marriage is legally permissible in most European countries is 18, however exceptions can sometimes be made with judicial or parental consent.

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