Marriage in Idaho: Twin Falls woman responds to law to set minimum marriage age

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A bill introduced in the Idaho House Judiciary, Rules and Administration committee could set a minimum legal age of 16 to marry in Idaho.

Rep. Barbara Ehardt said the legislation is a beginning to helping young people think twice before exchanging vows.

Linda Terrell, who comes to the Twin Falls Senior Center to participate in their fitness program, said she got married when she was just 15 years old.

But if she could go back in time, she said she would have waited a little bit longer.

"As I grew older and you know raising the children and everything, then I look back, and I thought, 'Whoa, you became a mother, you became a wife, but when did you become who you are?'" Terrell said.

Currently, there is no minimum legal age in Idaho for one to marry, which is why Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, who is a co-sponsor of the proposed bill, said it was essential to set the minimum age to 16, as well as restricting the age differences to three years.

Ehardt said the legislation is a beginning to helping young people think twice before exchanging vows.

"The focus of what we have done is to set a minimum age of for marriage, and we haven't touched the rest of it," Ehardt said.

Still Terrell said she thinks 16 is still too young and admitted around that age she wasn't mentally nor emotionally prepared for marriage.

"People need to understand that girls or boys are just not mentally or emotionally at 16 to take on an adult marriage," Terrell said, adding, "Most adults have problems keeping marriages together. We have classes for everything, but the emotional and stress to have a good marriage, it takes work. Sixteen years olds and younger have a hard time with first jobs, let alone life-long marriage commitments. That is why the law needs changed."



 
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