This policy guide provides guidelines on how to obtain court permission for a child/youth to marry, join the Armed Forces or join Job Corps.
Table of Contents
This policy guide was updated from the 04/27/10 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.
Children/Youth in Out-of-Home Care
In the event that a child expresses desire to do so, Court permission must be requested. The Ex Parte Application and Order Report must be used to on a non-scheduled hearing for the purpose of making these specific recommendations and obtaining Court permission. If there are any questions or concerns, consult with County Counsel.
Dependent Youth 18 Years and Older
In most cases where the youth is eighteen (18) years old or older it will not be necessary to seek the Court’s permission for the youth to marry, join the Armed Forces or join Job Corps. In all situations, whenever a youth eighteen (18) years or older plans to or has already married, joined a branch of the armed forces ,or joined Job Corps, the CSW is responsible for notifying the youth’s attorney as soon as possible, as well as the Court via a walk-on report.
Approval of the Juvenile Court is not necessary for a youth eighteen years or older to marry, except in the rare instance where there is a court order, unique to the case, which limits the dependent youth’s ability to marry, and which must be modified to permit his or her marriage. A review of the dependent youth’s past legal history must be completed in an effort to see if the dependent youth’s capacity to marry has been limited by the Juvenile Court. If it has, the CSW should consult with the assigned County Counsel to see if they concur that a disqualification to marriage exists and, if necessary, how best to address it.
Joining the Armed Forces
Approval of the Juvenile Court is not necessary for a youth eighteen years or older to join the Armed Forces. Youth age seventeen (17) but not yet age 18, while eligible to enlist in the Armed Forces under , still require the Court’s permission to join the Armed Forces, (Famiy Code 6950).
Joining Job Corps
In most cases, approval of the Juvenile Court is not necessary for a youth eighteen years or older to join Job Corps. If the youth has any dependent children, Job Corps participation requires that suitable arrangements be made for their care during the proposed period of enrollment. If the dependent youth is also the parent of a dependent child, the Juvenile Court with jurisdiction over the dependent child may also have to approve the arrangements made for the care of the dependent youth’s child during the proposed period of enrollment in Job Corps.
Additionally, the Job Corps program conducts background checks on its applicants, and if such a check reveals that the applicant is on probation, parole, under a suspended sentence or under the supervision of any agency as a result of court action or institutionalization, then the court or appropriate agency must certify in writing that it will approve of the applicant's release from its supervision and that the release will not violate applicable laws and regulations. Consequently, there may be instances where a dependent youth is subject to supervision which will require written court approval to enter the Job Corps program. If that appears to have happened, the CSW should consult with the assigned County Counsel to determine what course of action to take.
Requesting Court Permission for a Child/Youth to Marry, Join the Armed Forces or Join Job Corps
- Review the on-line case record to ensure that all identifying information (e.g., names, addresses, etc.) are recorded and current prior to creating the Ex Parte Application and Order Report.
- If necessary, update the case record.
- Create the Ex Parte Application and Order Report as soon as possible, but no later than five (5) days prior to the event.
- Request on-line approval for the Ex-Parte Application and Order Report and print it.
- Sign and date the hard copy.
- Submit the hard copy of the court report and if applicable, any supporting documents (such as written parental or legal guardian consent) to the SCSW for approval.
- When the report is approved, route the Ex Parte Application and Order Report with any attachments to support staff for final preparation and delivery to court.
- Give the child a copy of the court's order permitting the youth to enter the Armed Forces, Job Corps, or to marry.
- As soon as the youth’s enlistment in the Armed Forces/Job Corps or their marriage is verified, notify the court of this fact and recommend that jurisdiction be terminated.
- Continue to provide child welfare services to the child per established policies and procedures until jurisdiction is terminated.
- Review the packet (i.e. Ex Parte Report and any supporting documents).
- If not approved, request corrective action and return the packed to the CSW.
- If approved, sign and date the Ex Parte Report. Approve the Ex Parte Report on-line and return the packet to the CSW.
- Ex Parte Application and Order Report.
Ex Parte Application and Order
Referenced Policy Guides
0100-535.60, Youth Development: The 90-Day Transition Planning Conference, Transition Plan, and Transitioning to Independence
0100-570.05, Quality-of-Life in Out-of-Home Care
0300-503.94, Set On/Walk On Procedures
10 U.S.C. § 505(a) – Outlines the regular components and qualifications for original enlistments into the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, Regular Marine Corps, or Regular Coast Guard.
Family Code (FC) Section 301 – States that an unmarried male age eighteen (18) years or older, and an unmarried female age eighteen (18) years or older, and not otherwise disqualified, are capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.
– States that if it appears to the satisfaction of the court by application of a minor that the minor requires a written consent to marry and that the minor has no parent or has no parent capable of consenting, the court may make an order consenting to the issuance of a marriage license and granting permission to the minor to marry. The order shall be filed with the clerk of the court and a certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.
FC Section 6950 - Permits the court to grant a child 16 years of age or older permission to enlist in the military when there is no parent available to consent.
FC Section 7002(b) - Deems a child an emancipated minor once they are on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States.
Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 304 – States part of the court order granting permission to marry under Section 302 or 303, the court shall require the parties to the prospective marriage of a minor to participate in premarital counseling concerning social, economic, and personal responsibilities incident to marriage, if the court considers the counseling to be necessary. The parties shall not be required without their consent, 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 any 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.
– States the court may require the social worker or any other agency to render any periodic reports concerning children committed to its care, custody, and control under the provisions of Section 362 that the court deems necessary or desirable. The court may require that the social worker, or any other public agency organized to provide care for needy or neglected children, shall perform the visitation and make periodic reports to the courts concerning children committed under those provisions that the court deems necessary or desirable.