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Monday, August 7, 2017

Cousins Changing States

This was left as a comment and it is a very important question for those of us in the US.
Can anyone offer insight on the case of 1st cousins who marry where it is legal and later move to a state where it is not. It would seem that the full faith and credit clause of the constitution would offer them protection. 
Article. IV. - Section. 1.
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
From what we've seen from family law attorneys online, you appear to be correct, at least with certain states. I do want to remind you that I am not a lawyer or attorney, and I recommend checking with a family law attorney in the state to which you plan to move or have moved.

There is a chart on Wikipedia that indicates that some states will not recognize any first cousin marriages from other states, while some others will not recognize them if they are that state's residents who went to another state to get married. It seems to me this has to be unconstitutional based on many precedents.

It is important to note that a handful of US states criminalize sex between (unmarried) first cousins, and yes, people have been recently prosecuted. But it appears as though if you were legally married in one state (which can include "common law marriage" after living together a certain number of years) and move to one of those criminalizing states, you'd be OK.

There is an organization called Cousin Couples that could have answers.

Anyone with personal experience in these matters or who has practiced family law is encourages to leave a comment.


Cousins, and any other consenting adults, should be free to be together, married or not, without fear of prosecution, bullying, or discrimination. This is why the US and every country needs full marriage equality and relationship rights for all adults.
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1 comment:

  1. Im sorry to tell you this but if you were married in a jurisdiction that allowed such a marriage to take place you would not be afforded the protection in the new jurisdiction under this clause. If you choose to move to another jurisdiction you risk losing your benefits and risk prosecution.
    I know its not what you want to hear but it is what it is. If it were me, and this is my opinion, i would stay in the jurisdiction that allowed it. That way i would be protected. If i did leave that jurisdiction i would keep quiet and not bring attention to me or my family.
    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete

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