Marriage Restrictions in Massachusetts

marriage law

Massachusetts prohibits incest and polygamy and restricts marriage between couples under the age of 18.

The marriage laws are codified in M.G.L. Chapter 207 and they read as follows.

Incest

 Section 1. No man shall marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, stepmother, grandfather’s wife, grandson’s wife, wife’s mother, wife’s grandmother, wife’s daughter, wife’s granddaughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s sister or mother’s sister.

Section 2. No woman shall marry her father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, stepfather, grandmother’s husband, daughter’s husband, granddaughter’s husband, husband’s grandfather, husband’s son, husband’s grandson, brother’s son, sister’s son, father’s brother or mother’s brother.

Polygamy

Section 4. A marriage contracted while either party thereto has a former wife or husband living…shall be void.

Minors

The marriage of a person under the age of eighteen is prohibited unless sanctioned by the county’s probate court pursuant to Section 25.

The minor must file a petition with the court and the minor’s parents or legal guardians must consent to the marriage.  After a hearing the court can then issue an order permitting the union.

The punishment for violating M.G.L. Chapter 207 “Shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars” according to Section 52 of the law.

If you have any questions about the law please contact me at justin@jrmccarthy.com.

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