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josephcharlie

Confusing marriage laws (Ohio)

10 posts in this topic

Hi. I am a 46 year old resident of NC (I also happen to be adopted). I have been in a serious relationship with my 1st cousin for about a year, she is 41 and is a resident of Ohio. We are both divorced and we both have custody of our high school age children (she 2, me 1).

Before either of us actually looked into the legal aspects of marriage (between cousins), we had already had the discussion.

While she is not opposed to moving to NC after her kids are in college (before mine is), we had discussed all the details; and given job availability, retirement plans, and the fact that the majority of our family resides in Ohio we had mutually agreed it would be Much easier if I moved to Ohio.

So then we actually started researching legality of marriage. If she were a resident of NC, then it would obviously Not be an issue.

Everything we can find on Ohio law is sort of confusing. In state marriage is obviously Not legal. Most of what can be found says out of state marriage will not be recognized, except that Obergefell v. Wymyslo, Seems to contradict that...but does it apply to Residents Of the state?

And while some states have particular exclusions for "adopted" cousins, all we can find regarding Ohio is "unknown", which would lead me to believe "undefined in law"?

Any knowledge, advice, or recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thank you! 

 

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the best advice i can give on this is to consult a family law expert in ohio.

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Hey I was just wondering what you found out about marrying your 1st cousin... I am in love with my 1st cousin (mom's sister's son) we just got together, but been in love with each other forever and wants to marry in Ohio.

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My wife and I were married in Maryland and now live in Ohio. No one ever questions the legality. Honestly, when was the last time you were asked to show your marriage license. We did have to produce divorce certificates from our previous marriages when we bought our house but I don't remember showing a marriage certificate. And our Maryland marriage certificate says right on it "First Cousins". 

 

I just found this from the  UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO WESTERN DIVISION.  Case No. 1:13-cv-501 states on page 2 "... just as Ohio recognizes all other out-of-state marriages, if valid in the state performed, and even if not authorized nor validly performed under Ohio law, such as marriages between first cousins, marriages of certain minors, and common law marriages. That is, once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away, because the right to remain married is properly recognized as a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1."

Edited by BobAndMary11
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but... does ohio have a statute that prohibits circumventing its own marriage laws by marrying outside of the state? if so, then a marriage in any other state would not be recognized, assuming the couple were to reside immediately in ohio. that's the key question.

of course, and i'm just kinda theorizing here... if they were to marry, and one the one in NC continued to 'officially' reside in NC for six months before moving and becoming a resident of ohio, then i think it would work. the problem is that he wouldn't be able to change his drivers license, get a job, or anything else that established his residency in ohio until such time. it may be 3 months. i think it varies from state to state. and even so, i'm not sure that would work, so don't take that as legal advice.

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The ruling states "...just as Ohio recognizes all other out-of-state marriages, if valid in the state performed". So if a couple lives in Ohio and has a destination wedding to Florida and comes back to Ohio to live, the marriage would be recognized (as long as Florida has no law prohibiting non residents to marry). 

If your destination wedding is Maryland (where my first and my last wedding were performed), where it is legal to marry a first cousin, it stands to reason, your marriage would be recognized. Neither my first wife or I lived in Maryland at the time we were married there. Maryland does not require residency to be married in the state. Who's to say you went to another state to circumvent your home state's law or just because you wanted to be married somewhere else. 

 

 

 

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like i said, i was theorizing... i don't keep up with the laws of each state anymore and wasn't sure how ohio's read. but since laws vary so drastically from state to state, my theory could possibly apply in other states.

i do need to be more up to date on state laws. i used to be. i just got old and lazy. 

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josephcharlie, if you discover anything specific, could you please share the information here? I am also in Ohio, in a long-term relationship with my first cousin, and trying to figure out if we could go to another state to marry and have that accepted in Ohio.

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Guest Lizzy,

My first wife and I were married in Maryland when neither of us lived there (she was a resident of Pennsylvania and I of Delaware). My current wife (cousin) and I were married in Maryland (she was an Ohio resident and I lived in Maryland at the time). The clerk even mentioned to us that they see a lot if cousins coming to Cumberland County from nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia to get married. As I mentioned in my post above, Ohio has stipulated in UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO WESTERN DIVISION.  Case No. 1:13-cv-501 on page 2 "... just as Ohio recognizes all other out-of-state marriages, if valid in the state performed, and even if not authorized nor validly performed under Ohio law, such as marriages between first cousins, marriages of certain minors, and common law marriages. That is, once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away, because the right to remain married is properly recognized as a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1."

Maryland will legally marry first cousins even if neither is a resident. The funny (and ironic) thing is, my first wife also married her first cousin. They live in Pennsylvania (always have) and they were married in.... yep, Maryland!

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