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      CHC 1548     


Art. 1548. Hearing; confidentiality; best interest of the minor; evidence of human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence, coercion, duress, or undue influence

            A. The court shall hear a request for authorization for a minor to marry in chambers.

            B. The judge shall require that both the prospective husband and prospective wife be present for the hearing and there shall be a separate in camera interview of the prospective spouses.

            C. In determining the best interest of the minor prospective spouse, the court shall consider all of the following:

            (1) Pregnancy of the prospective wife.

            (2) If the prospective spouses are already living together.

            (3) Housing and living conditions prior to the prospective marriage and where the prospective spouses intend to live after the marriage.

            (4) The ages of the prospective spouses.

            (5) The age differential between the prospective spouses.

            (6) How the prospective spouses came to know each other.

            (7) The stated reasons why each of the prospective spouses desires to marry one another.

            (8) Consent of mother, father, or person having legal custody of the minor.

            D. The judge may require evidence of proof of residency, educational attainment, juvenile offense history, or criminal history to be produced.

            E. The judge shall conduct an inquiry to determine if there exists any evidence that the minor is a victim of human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence, coercion, duress, or undue influence. In conducting the inquiry, the judge shall ask all of the following questions:

            (1) Whether one prospective spouse is in a position of authority over the other prospective spouse.

            (2) Previous marriage or marriages of either of the prospective spouses.

            (3) Residency and length of residency of the prospective spouses.

            (4) How long the prospective spouses have known each other.

            (5) Length of relationship between the prospective spouses.

            (6) Any evidence of kidnaping, sexual assault, or domestic violence between the prospective spouses.

            (7) Whether one of the prospective spouses was the victim of a sexual offense committed by the other prospective spouse.

            (8) Evidence of domestic violence, spousal abuse, or sexual offenses committed by either of the prospective spouses upon anyone.

            (9) Criminal history of the prospective spouses.

            (10) Whether either prospective husband or wife provided or promised a third party anything of value in exchange for the marriage.

            (11) Evidence of maturity and self-sufficiency of the prospective spouses through educational attainment or employment.

            (12) Evidence of at least eight hours of premarital counseling from the prospective spouses.

            (13) Any history of any medical condition or chemical dependency of either of the prospective spouses.

            F. If the judge finds any evidence of human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence, coercion, or undue influence, he shall immediately report it to local law enforcement or child protective services, and shall not authorize the marriage.

            Acts 1991, No. 235, §15, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 2019, No. 401, §3.

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