California Family Code 304

Validity of Marriage

(a) In determining whether to issue a court order granting permission to marry pursuant to Section 302 or 303, the court shall do all of the following: (1) Require Family Court Services to separately interview the parties intending to marry and, if applicable, at least one of the parents or the guardian of each party who is a minor. If more than one parent or guardian is interviewed, the parents or guardians shall be interviewed separately. (2) Require Family Court Services to prepare and submit to the court a written report, containing any assessment of potential force, threat, persuasion, fraud, coercion, or duress by either of the parties or their family members relating to the intended marriage. The report shall also contain recommendations of Family Court Services for either granting or denying the parties permission to marry. If Family Court Services knows or reasonably suspects that either party is a victim of child abuse or neglect, Family Court Services shall submit a report of the known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the county child protective services agency. (3) After receiving the report of the assessments of Family Court Services, as described in paragraph (2), separately interview in camera each of the parties prior to making a final determination regarding the court order. (4) Consider whether there is evidence of coercion or undue influence on the minor. (b) If the court issues an order granting the parties permission to marry pursuant to Section 302 or 303, and if one or both of the parties are 17 years of age or younger, the parties shall be eligible to request a marriage license no earlier than 30 days from the time the court order was issued. (c) As part of the court order granting permission to marry under Section 302 or 303, the court shall, if it considers it necessary, require the parties to the prospective marriage of a minor to participate in premarital counseling concerning social, economic, and personal responsibilities incident to marriage. The parties shall not be required to confer with counselors provided by religious organizations of any denomination. In determining whether to order the parties to participate in the premarital counseling, the court shall consider, among other factors, the ability of the parties to pay for the counseling. The court may impose a reasonable fee to cover the cost of premarital counseling provided by the county or the court. The fees shall be used exclusively to cover the cost of the counseling services authorized by this section. (d) (1) Only for purposes of completing the document described in Section 102233 of the Health and Safety Code, and not for purposes of making a determination regarding the court order, the gender of each party intending to marry, if provided, shall be documented on the court order granting permission to marry. (2) The date of birth of each party intending to marry shall also be documented on the court order granting permission to marry. (3) For purposes of the requirements on the person solemnizing the marriage under subdivision (b) of Section 423, and the requirements on the local registrar under subdivision (a) of Section 102356 of the Health and Safety Code, the court shall provide parties who are granted permission to marry with a copy of the court order granting permission to marry. (e) Upon issuance of the order granting permission to marry, the minor shall be provided with the following information: (1) The rights and responsibilities of an emancipated minor, including, but not limited to, the effects of emancipation as described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7050) of Part 6 of Division 11. (2) (A) The circumstances under which a marriage may be determined by a court to be void or voidable and adjudged a nullity and the procedure for obtaining that judicial determination. (B) The procedures for legal separation or dissolution of marriage. (3) Telephone numbers for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Assault Hotline. (4) The conditions under which an unemancipated minor may leave home and seek to remain in a shelter or otherwise live separately from the minor’s parent or guardian, and whether the consent or acquiescence of a parent or guardian is required to remain away from the home of the parent or guardian, the rights of an unemancipated minor to apply for a protective or restraining order to prevent abuse, and the rights of a minor to enter into contracts, including contracts for legal services and mental health counseling. (f) (1) Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to a minor who is 17 years of age and who has achieved a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate. (2) Subdivision (b) does not apply to a minor who is 16 or 17 years of age and who is pregnant or whose prospective spouse is pregnant.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 115, Sec. 6. (AB 1817) Effective January 1, 2020.)

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