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Guest Leo

State laws for first cousins

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Hi, I am engaged to my first cousin. I live in PA which does not allow first cousin marriage so I thought of going with my fiance to another state that allow this marriage and get back to PA. The issue is that a friend attorney told me that the marriage will be voidable if not void unless you live in a state that allow this marriage. 

From your experience is this correct? and what are the cons of voidable contracts? 

Thanks a lot for your help in front,

 

Leo

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well, we're not legal experts here, and rely only on what statutes we have been able to locate on the internet for each state. PA is definitely a non-cousin-friendly state when it comes to marriage. we have them available on this site (https://www.cousincouples.com/?page=states)

from the info  we have on our site (which may be out of date but probably isn't), it would appear your friend is right. a voidable marriage, i would think, would mean that if you marry and then enjoy the benefits of marriage (joint tax returns, insurance, and who knows what else), that if the state ever discovered your marriage to be invalid, you might have to pay back a lot of people for benefits you've taken advantage of. you might also be prosecuted for fraud. how would the state find out? they probably wouldn't, unless someone ever challenged your marriage in court. that could happen in situations involving legal disputes, inheritances, custody fights... for example if something happened to one of you and the other, as the spouse, had next of kin rights regarding medical decisions or custody of any children, an anguished family member might decide to have your rights revoked so that they could have some control.

on the bright side, even though PA prohibits marriage, your relationship would not be classified as incestuous under their current laws. couple that with the current "anything goes" progressive attitude presiding in our country, and this could very well be worth hiring a lawyer and fighting to get the court to grant an exception, or to fight for the law to be changed. i think that the time is right (historically speaking) for the media and the public to stand on your side.

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