Family law: Researcher says not enough done to end child marriage

The law states that doing what is in the best interests of children is imperative. There are rules in family law that safeguard children, but some believe that Canada is falling short when it comes to ending child marriage despite the fact that there are laws in place that protect children in British Columbia and the rest of the country from such situations. In fact, some experts say thousands of legal child marriages have taken place right in Canada over the last 20 years. 

An assistant professor at a prominent Canadian university conducted research recently that found that more than 3,800 marriage licenses involving minors as young as 16 were issued in Canada between 2000 and 2018. She amassed the data from the country's vital statistics offices, which issue marriage certificates. British Columbia issued 49 of those marriage licenses. The stats don't include common law unions involving minors or situations where Canadian minors were taken out of the country to be married and then returned. 

Most of the young children getting married are female. And research findings show these young girls are marrying men much older than they are. As it stands now in Canada, a youth who is 16 years of age or older can get married with the consent of a parent, but many call that insincere in a country that fights child marriage in other countries. 

A British Columbia lawyer experienced in family law may be able to offer advice to a client who might have questions regarding children's issues like the legal age for marriage. A lawyer might also be able to weigh in on what he or she believes might be in the best interest of the child. It may be better to get an expert opinion before making any rash decisions where minors are concerned.

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