Jump to content
<?php echo esc_attr( get_bloginfo( 'name' ) ); ?>

"Legally" disconnected

Recommended Posts

Hello, I have visited this site from time to time trying to work through what the consequences and what the benefits could possibly be if my first cousin and I had a relationship. 

A little background, when I was 4 years old my mother divorced my father, she subsequently requested that my father give up his rights to me. I was then adopted by my mother's new husband. I didn't meet the majority of my father's family until I was 17, and didn't meet my cousin until I was 30. 

Flash forward and now the reality is that we have a very strong connection and all feelings are reciprocated. We reside in Illinois and are looking through the statutes and it seems that there are a couple of gray areas left that we don't know for sure that we can get past.

First question, since I "legally" have no relationship with my cousin are we in the clear?

Second question is, she has had her tubes tied, does that fulfill the requirements of one of the parties under the age of 50 being sterile?

Third is she has a child from a past relationship, could there be possible repercussions with family services if someone found out what our status was and wanted to cause us a headache?

I realize that you cannot give legal advice, I am just seeking opinion and thoughts on if it is a solid possibility that we can make this happen in Illinois or should we just move to Tennessee or one of the other friendly states? Thanks in advance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator


 Odd that we have two members of late from Illinois, asking questions of a legal nature. I'm from Illinois as well, and I'll give out the standard disclaimer (you already realize) about us not giving legal advice and blah, blah, blah. Now that that's out of the way, lets do try to walk through the technicalities. There are some "gray" areas, BUT, you MAY have a way around that.

 1 & 2) As far as the letter of the law, "by adoption" is NOT spelled out verbatim in the statute with regards to cousins. HOWEVER, you two are not related by adoption, you are "unrelated" by it, and still "related" by blood. "By the whole blood" actually. BUT, as you realize, there IS the exemption if one of the parties to the marriage is "permanently and irreversibly sterile." So, provided she can provide the county clerk a certificate signed by a licensed physician stating that, then, the county will issue you a marriage license.  

 3) As far as DCFS getting involved, of course, there is always that chance if her ex, or any busybody for that matter, wants to stir the puddin'. But, unless there is demonstrable proof of some sort of neglect or abuse, you two do NOT fall under the criminal incest statute, and would be considered the same as any other random couple. Should a determination otherwise happen, based solely on the fact that the two of you are cousins, any reasonably competent family law attorney could have that quashed in fairly short order. Would it be a headache? Yeah. Is there Tylenol for it? Yeah, but it comes out of your pocket. 

 4) If you were to provide said paperwork, and get married in Illinois, #3 goes away. I notice you mention "should we just move to Tennessee or...." Is Tennessee a viable option, for you to bring it up? I do kinda like Tennessee, as well as Georgia. If you've been in Illinois for any amount of time, (like, all your lives) I'll assume I need not tell you what a mess this State is in. You would certainly NOT be the first, nor the last to be shaggin' arse right on outta here. Although in your case, it would be for a rather unusual reason compared to the mostly strictly economic ones most folks site. Do keep in mind though, that if this ex of hers has court ordered visitation, he WOULD have standing to challenge the move, and you would have to make quite a compelling case to have a judge reverse a previous arrangement. Not unheard of mind you, I did it with the first wife and her ex back in the mid 80's. But, it cost me $$$ I certainly could have spent on other things. In the end, it was money well spent, because, even though the marriage didn't last, the job I went down there for was excellent for the resume', and I parleyed it into better work afterwards. I also think the judge realized that would most likely be the case, and factored that into his decision to alter the visitation. Because, he figured that IF we moved, and IF I got that under my belt, and IF we stayed together, it WOULD be in the long term best interest of not just me, but, her kids. Depending on what you have lined up, you may have a similar result. But, (as in my case) you can probably expect the butthurt, and accompanying drama out of her ex. It will also make the judge's decision easier if the two of you are already married, as opposed to just living together, or, moving to where you would be living together going forward. But then again, if you CAN get married here, and, other than to work around the gray areas and drama, would just as soon stay, then provide the paperwork, and get married. The paperwork stops the gray area, and the marriage license will slow, if not all but stop, the drama. Or, at least it should. I'd keep a copy handy to wave in the face of puddin' stirrers any time it started. You know..... "Look here. IT'S LEGAL..... Suck it up buttercup, and get over yourself. It's our life, NOT YOURS."   

 So, IMHO, there is a fairly easy way to meet the requirements of the law, and at that point, the decision to stay or go is purely economic, and hinges on how much money you have to put out in totality to make the move happen. Best of luck, and do let us know how things progress.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much Hawk for the thorough reply. We are definitely moving forward and crossing all the I's and dotting the T's. You are very accurate with the state of economics in our great state.... That's a topic for a different site, so I won't go on a rant. I suppose maybe my screen name should be changed at this point because it really isn't all that complicated after looking at everything. Thanks again for the info, and I plan on staying involved so that I could possibly help someone out at some point down the road. 

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
  • Create New...