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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Guest Violet

1st cousin once removed

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Me and Max first met at my graduation party last year. We started talking and we ended up dancing a lot that night. We exchanged information, and continued to talk afterwards. We started to get really close, and we started dating. Then we found out he was my mother's cousin. My parents were never close to their family, so we didn't even know each other until my graduation. We didn't know what to do, but we continued our relationship. His brother found out and he supports us. I want to tell my mother, but when I asked her about cousin marriages in general she freak out. We really like each other and don't want to split up, but we also don't want to split up the family. How can I make them more accepting of our relationship? Can we even get married? I live in WI and he lives in IL. Thank you so much for your help.

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Violet,

 It's been a while since I've looked at the exact verbiage of the statute in WI, BUT I do know for full first cousins, it's probably about as bad as any of the States get. Full first cousins are considered criminal incest, and in at least one instance we know of, the State went after a member here. It was eventually dropped, but not before considerable gnashing of teeth and digging into case law. 

 Being in IL, I can tell you it is much friendlier. I'm not exactly sure whether 1C1R's can marry here, but, I do know full first cousins can't. (Well, actually, there are exceptions, but you're probably not anywhere near meeting them at your age, and I'll assume, fertility level.) That said, cousins are not on the list of criminal incest, and Illinois has very quietly stopped prosecuting any cases of incest between consenting adults. As far as marrying, again, I'm not sure, and as bad as I hate to say it because this State is so financially screwed up, I do believe Illinois IS your better option.

 I would however encourage you to further your studies beyond your recent graduation, put this on a slow burn, then, when you get some sort of marketable degree or certs, and can support yourself, ramp it up. I always recommend at least 20 years of age, and personally prefer the couple (or at least the younger of the two) to be 22ish or so before they strike out on their own. So long as you are beholden to family for your roof, they have a legitimate say in your affairs. Once it's YOUR roof, it's YOUR rules.......  When you get to that point, go for it, and don't let anyone or their drama stop you.

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oh crap. you said WI not WV. hang on. sorry. 

765.03(1) 
(1) No marriage shall be contracted while either of the parties has a husband or wife living, nor between persons who are nearer of kin than 2nd cousins except that marriage may be contracted between first cousins where the female has attained the age of 55 years or where either party, at the time of application for a marriage license, submits an affidavit signed by a physician stating that either party is permanently sterile. Relationship under this section shall be computed by the rule of the civil law, whether the parties to the marriage are of the half or of the whole blood. A marriage may not be contracted if either party has such want of understanding as renders him or her incapable of assenting to marriage.

765.04(1) 
(1) If any person residing and intending to continue to reside in this state who is disabled or prohibited from contracting marriage under the laws of this state goes into another state or country and there contracts a marriage prohibited or declared void under the laws of this state, such marriage shall be void for all purposes in this state with the same effect as though it had been entered into in this state. 
 

(15) "Relative" means a parent, grandparent, stepparent, brother, sister, first cousin, nephew, niece, uncle or aunt. This relationship shall be by blood, marriage or adoption.

944.06 Incest. Whoever marries or has nonmarital sexual intercourse with a person he or she knows is a blood relative and such relative is in fact related in a degree within which the marriage of the parties is prohibited by the law of this state is guilty of a Class C felony.

//legis.state.wi.us/rsb/weblinks.html

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i don't think WI knows what the heck a first cousin once removed is. i would suggest if you challenge the law, you could probably win, but you should do it before marrying. 

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Violet,

 LadyC is probably correct in that you could challenge the law and prevail. I have a sneaking suspicion the reason WI dropped the aforementioned case was, they had a pretty good indication said member had excellent representation, and would most likely have the law overturned. I'm reasonable sure that played at the very least a considerable part of why they dropped it. There were other issues involved as well, which led to the charges in the first place. Some of those issues were mute by the time this all started making it's way through the system, so there was that as well. 

 All of that said, unless you have REALLY deep pockets, as well as really large, (hmm, how can I say this without running afoul of the cuss filter?) testes lets say, I would still advise you to trend his direction as opposed to him coming your direction. You haven't mentioned your age, only that you just graduated. I may have wrongly assumed you were talking about high school, when in fact you may be referring to college. If you have just graduated high school, I'll assure you, you are in no position to take on such a fight. You are in no position to take on the drama of your family. If you have just graduated college, you are in the slightly better position of being able to start looking for a job in Illinois. Or, should the two of you decide elsewhere would be better, find a better part of the country where you see green. https://www.cousincouples.com/?page=states 

 I can tell you, that as a long term, and all but lifetime resident of Illinois, if you can find desirable, gainful employment elsewhere, you would do well to seriously consider it. I'm rather partial to GA myself, and Nat will tell you to come on down to FL. There are also "red" States that do not allow full first cousins, but do not prohibit 1C1R's. I updated some of the links to the statutes within the last year or so, but, you would have to dig for yourself, as I don't have time at the present to dig into it for you. I love that sort of thing, but I'm a way busy old goat at the moment. That link has a section which says which States allow 1C1R's IIRC. Have a look at that. It will be all of the "green States, probably some of the "yellow" States, and a handful of "red" one too. Happy hunting, and perhaps a little more info as to your ages would help us further tune our advice to your particular situation.

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nuts, balls, cahones, they all work fine without running afoul of the foul language filters ;)

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Let's get the standard disclaimer out in the open again, that we do not give legal advice. However, if I'm looking at the lists of States and what is allowed further down on the State Laws page, Illinois does allow 1C1R's to marry. Again, I would want to have a close look at the actual statute, but, IIRC, it does only say first cousins, then followed by the age and sterility exceptions for first cousins. It, unlike WI and a few others, does not say "nearer than second cousins".

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