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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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mermaid88

Getting married in Indiana

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Incredibly long story short. I have been in a relationship with my cousin (he is my half cousin to be technical, our parents do not have the same father) for over a year now. We are planning to get married, our families are on board with us after a long process of getting them on our side. In the State of Indiana which we are both residents, cousins are not allowed to marry unless you are 65years or older. We are wanting to get married this year but I am having a really hard time with this. The thing is they do ask us if we are related more than 2nd cousin. They do no blood test or further looking into. However we are both honest people and are obviously going to tell the truth therefore they are not going to let us get married here.

 

So we want to go to a different state and was thinking Tennessee. On this website it states that if we do get married there and come back here our marriage is still valid HERE in Indiana? However when I called my clerks office here they told me it would not be. I also worry about not being a resident of Tennessee and coming back here because I am pretty sure that states that our marriage would not be valid?

 

Please assist me in some guidance! How would you all suggest I go about marrying the love of my life?! The only way I know how to do that is lie and obviously we are not going to do that. We both want to do this in a way that our marriage is valid in our State and doing it the honest way so any helpful suggestions would be awesome. Here is what it says regarding void marriages:

 

IC 31-11-8-6 Foreign marriage solemnized between Indiana residents to evade Indiana law Sec. 6. A marriage is void if the parties to the marriage: (1) are residents of Indiana; (2) had their marriage solemnized in another state with the intent to: (A) evade IC 31-11-4-4 or IC 31-11-4-11 (or IC 31-7-3-3 or IC 31-7-3-10 before their repeal); and (B) subsequently return to Indiana and reside in Indiana; and (3) without having established residence in another state in good faith, return to Indiana and reside in Indiana after the marriage is solemnized.

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it appears from the statute that you copied here, that you can not, and that we need to update our info pages. we try to keep our state laws page current, but it's hard! i did the research that you found over a dozen years ago. it's easy to assume that laws stay the same, but it's not unusual for statutes to get ammended without anyone knowing, because it doesn't get any publicity or media attention. (that's exactly what happened in 2005 when the state of texas changed it's law... it was a statute that got slipped into some other bill that had nothing to do with it, and nobody noticed til it was too late. 

this is why we always try to let people know that if  there is any doubt, seek an attorney. our advice and information is worth what ya pay for, so to speak. i'm very sorry that our misinformation caused you concern... but we will get that fixed! i'll let KC know in case he misses this thread, so he can look into correcting it.

as for what to do now, we can't exactly advise you to lie. what we can suggest is that you consult an attorney and find out what the repercussions (besides having your marriage voided) there would be to the two of you, or to any children you might have, in the event that some angry, hateful relative tried to make trouble for you. for instance, if someone who didn't think you were fit parents tried to fight you for custody of your children, could they win? if you or your cousin died, and some relative thought they wanted more inheritance than they got, could they have any inheritance overturned and taken away from the surviving spouse? if one of you were on life support and a parent or sibling wanted to make life and death decisions, could they succeed in having a judge terminate your spousal right to make that decision?

get some legal advice, and  then make your decision accordingly. i'd much rather see people married than just living together, but the marriage laws pertain to just that... marriage. they don't pertain to cohabitation, although you might have some of the same questions as above.

and if all else fails, what are the options of both of you relocating to a cousin friendly state? 

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