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Out of state mariages

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I have years to figure this out, since we are the kind of couple that view marriage as nice and great, but certainly not something that has a big affect on us and our relationship (strong love is far more important than a contract), but I'd like to get information in preparation for the future.

I've been told that the state of Washington honors marriages that were performed out of state (i.e., has no law about marriages performed out-of-state to avoid state laws being considered void), but I've also heard conflicting info on that. So, I was hoping someone would have actual info for that to clarify things for me. The info in the legal section of the site is pretty sparse. Furthermore, I would like to know how getting married out of your state of residence works. California is the closest state to mine where the marriage would be legal, if we were to want to take a vacation and get married there some day, but do some states require residency or other items? We also have the idea to rent an RV and travel across the country through places like Oklahoma and Georga in a number of years, so could probably get married in a state over that way as part of our trip if closer states like California or Colorado have complications.

Anyway, just looking to get some preliminary info now while I have the time to chat. I always gather as much data on a subject as I can, whenever possible, to aid in my plans regardless of how far off they may be.

Thanks for your time.

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While we are not lawyers, and do not give legal advice, I did a little poking around for you. Here's the skinny: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.04.020

Subsection (1)(B) is the Washington prohibition on first cousin (and apparently, 1C1R) marriages. 

You will note in subsection 3 the following; "(3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a) or (2) of this section." Subsection (1)(a) prohibits polygamy, and subsection (2) prohibits incestuous marriages up to, but notably excluding first cousins, as provided in subsection (1)(B). If the intent was to prohibit first cousin marriages solemnized in other jurisdictions, it would have said "(3) A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection (1)(a),(1)(B), or (2) of this section." But, as you see, it does NOT include (1)(B).

You will also note, there is no verbiage such as "unless to evade the provisions of this statute" or some such, as there happens to be in some State's statutes.

So, AGAIN, we aren't lawyers, and this isn't legal advice, BUT, YOU are reading it in black and white, and, even though clerks' opinions my vary, (as well as differing lawyers you may speak to) the statute does not. As it reads, first cousins may NOT marry IN Washington, BUT, may marry elsewhere, provided it is legal in that jurisdiction, and return to Washington as man and wife. You get to tell everybody to "Suck it up Buttercup, we're legal...." A little out in front of where you are at this point, but, good to know none the less.

As a side note to you, other members, lurkers, mods and admins, I've really wanted to go through and look up all the specific statutes for the States, and copy/pasta them to a readily accessible list. I really thought I would be laid off by now, and have time to work on that. I was laid off from the previous job, but immediately got called back out to the company I was pulled from to go to that one, so, I'm not off yet. I may get a week or so before Christmas, but have already been told of a job over the school Holiday break. I may get some time off between the first of the year and the Easter break, when I've been told we have another school job to do. SO, I will eventually get to all of this pablum that is these statutes, but it may be a while, and once I start, it will take a while to locate and copy them. Please bear with me y'all.......

As far as getting married out of state, it works just like it does for everyone who goes to Vegas to get married, only Vegas is NOT an option in your case. The several States may have varying requirements, but I would think all make provisions for out of state marriages. I see nothing in this statute about non-residents, but, I didn't read the whole thing either. I would think, just as if you were a resident, you would simply go to a county courthouse, speak to the clerk, provide proper ID, fill out the paperwork, be issued the license, then have a minister, JOP, or judge perform the ceremony. I do know some jurisdictions require a 24-48 hr. waiting period, but, I think those are few and far between. The last one I noticed that requirement on was (IIRC, St.Croix) the US Virgin Islands. I don't recall if cousins can marry there, but, if they can, you may as well spend a week, because I think that one was a 48 hr. waiting period. You will have to check in where you are planning to go before hand, to be sure you can jump through all the hoops. If you already know it is legal for cousins to marry there, don't even mention it, and it won't be an issue.

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Thank you VERY much for the info (and time you spent on it for me) :)

I had read the bit of the laws I found in a basic web search so knew that it was at least not considered incestious under the state laws, but I hadn't figured out the part about recognizing marriages performed out of state if they were not themselves legal to perform in the state. Your clarification reassures me that what I had figured/hoped/heard was correct.

I had also thought about the Vegas thing like you mentioned, and was disappointed to see Nevada painted red on the map on this site. But that's fine, since I'm not a gambler and my lady HATES big cities and crowds anyway :P

I think California would be most likely, or a state in the South East when we someday rent an RV and go on a Walkabout.

Thanks again for the info. If you could use a hand with posting your plethora of info down the road or a related task, feel free to reach out to me. I'm pretty hand with 'puters.

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Yeah, I've been meaning to do it for a while, but it will be time consuming. I'll be working till at least this Friday, and may have to go in for a while Monday. After that, I'm not sure when the next job is before the Christmas break. If I'm going to be off, I MAY try to start it. I would like to do a comprehensive list, with both marriage statutes, and criminal incest statutes, at least for the States like Wisconsin, where they apply. (There are only a handful of such States, so I may try that first.) What will happen is, I will look all of this up, and submit it to KC and Colorado Married. They do all of the site set-up, by and large. I'm just tech savvy enough to get in and poke around and make a mess of this place, so I won't be amending or adding anything. Colorado Married is even considerably better at looking these things up, AND, finding related (no pun intended, LOL) case law. He's quite the busy boy however, so, I do what I can. I've had a little experience looking up statutes, even before I was around these parts. I have a fair working knowledge of "legalese". Again, just enough to get me in trouble, but, it's gotten me through three divorces now, and one lawsuit, where I would have been relieved of considerable $$$ I didn't need to spend.  I won't give legal advice, but I always do my best to boil it down to the kitchen table where it is generally understandable to the layperson. 

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