Journal Article

RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF UNDERAGE PARENTS: A COMPARATIVE APPROACH

Harry Willekens

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 18, issue 3, pages 355-370
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/18.3.355
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF UNDERAGE PARENTS: A COMPARATIVE APPROACH

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Underage parents are caught in a legal contradiction between their status as parents and their status as minors. As parents, they are responsible for protecting, rearing and representing their children; as minors, they lack the rights required to fulfil parental duties. This paper takes a look at the different ways in which legal systems deal with the contradiction. The position of underage parents in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands is studied. In Belgium, there is no explicit statutory solution for the problem, and a reconciliation of the two roles has to be looked for in re-interpretations of general rules of legal capability and contractual liability. In Germany and the Netherlands, quite different statutory solutions have been developed, the German one generating legal contradictions of its own, the Dutch one probably in violation of the right to respect of family life guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. On the basis of the analysis of these laws, the contradiction in the position of underage parents looks unresolvable.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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