Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • KC

      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

      Be informed on better ways to stay safe on the web -- Source: Mozilla
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Jen

Legal Implications of Marriage and Children with State Laws

Recommended Posts

Guest Jen

Hi All,

I'm in a long-term, monogamous relationship with my first cousin. Our mutual family has known about and accepted our relationship for a while, however, the larger culture is less accepting. We currently reside in Ohio, where it is illegal for us to marry. I recently discovered that the health insurance I get through my place of employment will not cover my partner under the domestic partner clause due to the nature of our relationship. We have considered going to another state to marry, but we are not clear on if and to what extent our relationship would be recognized in this state if we did that. 

We are both in our thirties, and considering having or adopting children. While we are completely committed to being together, we are concerned about any legal implications for our biological or adopted offspring. 

Basically, I want to talk to a lawyer, but I am not sure where to start. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jen,

Go to Maryland and get married; come back to Ohio and live happily ever after. 

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."

The court document above specifically states that Ohio recognizes marriages between first cousins if the marriage is legally performed in another state. 

I know that Maryland will marry non resident cousins. As proof I submit the following:

When my wife and I got our marriage license the clerk told us they get a lot of cousins from neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

My first wife and current husband (first cousins) have always lived in Pennsylvania and were married by a JP in Elkton, MD. They have been married 29 years as of 10/16 and have 3 children, 2 grand children and 1 grandchild on the way. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is "Jen", I decided to make an account. Thanks so much for the info, and for sharing your experience! I read that case, and found it both elucidating and comforting.

Not being able to list my partner on my insurance as a domestic partner really shook me; it was the first time I've come across a concrete challenge to the validity of our relationship. However, based on my own research as well as your response, I am confident we can marry out of state and be recognized here, and as a married couple it shouldn't ever be an issue. We're just never, ever moving to Texas!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×