July 24th, 2008

Marriage under the age of 18 in the U.S.

Setting:  Contemporary set in Washington state, U.S.A.

Search terms used:  "legal marriage age by state"  and similar.

I want to write a story where a pregnant 17-year-old resident of Washington state marries her 19-year-old boyfriend without parental consent. 

From what I'm reading, this doesn't look like an easy feat.  I see that in some states, minors can get a judge's permission to marry if they are pregnant or emancipated.  What I'm not sure of is whether these would be complex processes and/or if out-of-state minors would be allowed to partake.  Emancipation seems to take between 16 and 60 days in WA, but I don't know how successful the girl would be in petitioning for it.  Her boyfriend has a job and money, but she doesn't.  Would the pregnancy make the judge more likely to grant permission despite her lack of evidence that she can live independently?  (Also, her parents aren't abusive jerks or anything.  They just don't want her to marry this guy.)

Basically, I'm looking for a scenario where their marriage could be quick and as simple as possible while still being completely legal and legitimate.  Are there any states (or other countries even?) out there with reputations for being lenient in situations like this?  These characters have enough money to make a trip somewhere if need be.  Or would working with the courts in their home state be best?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

Edit:  Thanks everyone!  I'm getting an idea that this plotline isn't going to be entirely plausible the way I'd planned it.  Who knew it was so hard to get married as a teenager?  :-) 
team pwns you

Charecteristics and personalities of a cop's kid.

Setting: Modern Los Angeles
Research: Google, wikipedia and various law enforcement sites.

My character is a second generation cop and I wondered what set of attitudes and personalities would be characteristic of a 'cop's kid', I've heard the term thrown around before but when I searched out for a detailed list I found nothing. I did, however find something military brats in the wiki. Would it be safe to assume that military brats and cop's kids share the same characteristics and personalities?


x-posted: ask_a_cop

Hallucinations--initial diagnosis?

Time: Modern day
Setting: New York City
Searched: I poked around in WebMD, and did searches on the things it suggested there. Really though, I'm not sure where to look for this.

Situation: My character Rose (23 years old) has been having hallucinations for the past two weeks--severe hallucinations that echo her deepest fears and worst memories. She's convinced that the man who attacked and raped her when she was fifteen is in her bedroom and apartment, and at one point puts an axe through a wall because she thinks he's in front of it; she has the sensation of being concious, but unable to wake up, for hours; everything she does being undone; the TV seems to speak to her (the people on it talk about her deepest secrets and laugh); she thinks the old wounds on her neck have started to gush blood. Finally, she hallucinates an earthquake, with the roof of her apartment falling in on her. She scratches her fingers bloody on the walls trying to get out and then passes out. When her roommate comes home, she realizes it was a hallucination.

She has a psychiatrist friend who she goes to talk to after the earthquake hallucination. She basically describes what's been going on and says "Whatever it is that you do for this, do it." I know it's not that simple, but I don't know what he'd suggest. Rose is willing to do almost anything to get it to stop.

She has no history of hallucinations or PTSD. She received counseling after the attack, and though she still bears psychological scars, nothing of this sort has ever happened before. So: what would be the immediate course of action? Medical tests to determine if there's another cause to the hallucinations? Would she be hospitalized? Later, we discover there is in fact a boggart messing with her, but what would be the first medical steps taken?
times are hard for dreamers

Hospital rooms for cancer patients

Setting: modern day; Portland, Oregon; summer
Search terms: temperature chemotherapy patients, cancer patients hospital rooms, cancer room temperature (and others along the same lines)

The character in question is a young woman with lung cancer who's basically living and dying in the hospital.  I've spent my fair share of time in the hospital, but never for cancer.  When I was in, they kept the temperature of my room at 80 degrees because I had hypothermia, but I'm not sure whether a room would be kept at high temperatures like that regularly.  So, would a patient receiving chemotherapy (or simply a cancer patient) have their room kept at a specific temperature or would it be kept at a normal level?
Also, what other machines would one expect to see in her room?  I know the basic layout, but chemo/cancer-specific would be especially helpful.