German officials set their sights on ‘child marriage’

A 14-year-old girl married her 21-year-old cousin in Syria. They fled the civil war together and eventually arrived in Aschaffenburg, where the Youth Welfare Office refused to recognize their marriage and took the girl into care – for reasons of child protection. Her husband appealed to the family court, and initially lost the case.

The regional court in Bamberg chose to set the judgment aside, citing the principle in German law that marriages conducted abroad should be judged according to the laws of the country of origin, making the union legitimate. The city of Aschaffenburg has appealed, and now it’s up to the federal court to decide.