Netherlands: Minimum marriage-age for foreigners to be 18

Netherlands: Minimum marriage-age for foreigners to be 18

The Netherlands will soon recognize marriages only if the couple are both 18 or older. This rule will be enforced also for recognizing foreign marriage and for all foreigners who marry in the Netherlands. Currently the Netherlands recognizes marriages concluded abroad if both partners are at least 15.

Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Justice) wrote parliament on Tuesday that with this amendment he wants to fight forced marriages and marrying off people. In October the cabinet announced a package of measures meant to restrict marriage migration. This included a proposal to stop recognizing a foreign marriage with a minor.

The politician extended his original plan with the regulation that marriages concluded according to foreign law in the Netherlands will also not be recognized if both partners are not 18 or older. In such a marriage two partners who do not have Dutch nationality marry in the Netherlands according to the law of their homeland.

Hirsch Ballin can't just introduce these changes. He must first negotiate amendments in an international treaty. He's currently researching the possibilities of doing so.

Dutch already now can only marry after their 18th birthday.

Though the minister wants a minimum age of 18 for all marriages, there is still room for exceptions. A 16 year old, for example, can marry if the woman is pregnant. Additionally, exemptions can be granted in special cases, for example if one of the partners is terminally ill.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

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