MamaCheshire (cheshire23) wrote in little_details,

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Concerns of young people

This pertains to a few different stories I'm working on. Two of them are about couples who decide to marry young for reasons that have nothing to do with "she's having his baby"; the third is about a rather excessively-studious orphan raised by her grandparents.

First, there are Bella (real name Jezebel) and Karl. They've been together since she was 13 and he was 16 (the reference to Romeo and Juliet IS deliberate). For most of the next four and a half years, they have been writing letters to each other and letting two intermediaries (Bella's best friend and her older brother) handle things, because her parents are massive racists, and Karl is black.

Karl graduated from high school, went to college (working his way through) a few hours away, and by the time Bella's 18 and about to graduate from high school, he's ready for them to make a life together and wants to give her a nice wedding ASAP after her high school graduation.

Here's the problem: this wedding should ideally be in a church of the non-scary variety. Given that Bella is barely 18 and can't exactly get away to meet with the officiating clergy too far before the fact, how likely is an officiant to actually agree to perform this wedding? What factors might make a favorable decision easier? (I suppose I could find some way to sneak Bella over there once on a weekend if needed, but it would be interesting if it didn't have to be that way.)

Also living in a story-as-yet-unwritten are Rafael and Anya. Rafael's a very bright young man who has skipped two grades, and Anya is a classmate of his. They seriously want to get married as soon as they finish high school, and their parents are supportive of this (mostly because both sets of parents are rather conservatively religious and don't like the idea of these two going off to live in sin).

Two possible logistical problems: Rafael is 16 at this point. Anya is 18, but is not a US citizen (she's part of a family of Bosnian refugees). Exactly how much of a legal mess is this going to cause? This is taking place in upstate New York, which means that it's legal for him to marry at 16 with parental consent (which he will have with no real problem), but what all is involved with a minor US citizen marrying a refugee? I have two friends who have married non-citizen spouses, but the citizen spouse was fully of-age at the time, and the non-citizen had a status other than refugee (one was working for a major software company on an H1B, and the other was a college student).

Last question actually doesn't concern a couple, though that may become a factor depending on how the story goes, but it concerns another instance of someone graduating from high school early. The character this time is an orphan being "raised" by her grandparents, though she's actually mostly raising herself. She ends up done with high school at 16, and her grandmother is still getting Social Security survivor's benefits for her. She wants to use her benefits to pay for at least the first two years of college, since they will stop when she turns 18 - if her grandmother gives her trouble about this, is there any way for HER to control the money? Preferably a way that won't land her in foster care over semester breaks?
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