- Void marriage
A void marriage is a type of
marriagewhich is on its face unlawfulunder the laws of the jurisdiction where it is entered, or potentially where the persons who contracted the marriage normally reside. Such a marriage is void, meaning legally it has no effect, if the marriage violates certain legal requirements. A void marriage is "one that is void and invalid from its beginning. It is as though the marriage never existed and it requires no formality to terminate." [ [http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/u040.htm Lectric Law web site] ]
A marriage, however, which can be canceled at the option of one of the parties is merely voidable, meaning it is subject to cancellation if contested in court.
The requirements for a marriage to be void (as opposed to voidable) include:
* One or both of the parties are below the legal age to marry even with parental consent.
* The parties degrees of
consanguinityare too close, for example, a brother and sister or a parent and a child. Some jurisdictions have broader limits on consanguinity beyond very close levels, e.g. one jurisdiction may permit first cousins to marry but another may prohibit them from marrying.
* A party to the marriage is forbidden to marry as a result of losing their civil rights, such as for conviction of a crime.
* The form of the marriage is forbidden by statute (such as
same-sex marriageor group marriage).
* Any of the parties is still married to someone else who is still alive (and the subsequent marriage may also constitute a crime of
New York law
Domestic relations lawof New Yorkstate, all incestuous marriages are void, but this does not include cousin marriages "of any degree":
§ 5. Incestuous and void marriages. A marriage is incestuous and void whether the relatives are legitimate or illegitimate between either: 1. An ancestor and a descendant; 2. A brother and sister of either the whole or the half blood; 3. An uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew.If a marriage prohibited by the foregoing provisions of this section be solemnized it shall be void...|N.Y. D.R.L., §5, found at [ [http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS N.Y. D.R.L., §5, at the Official NY State web site] ]
quote|§ 6. Void marriages. A marriage is absolutely void if contracted by a person whose husband or wife by a former marriage is living, unless either: 1. Such former marriage has been annulled or has been dissolved for a cause other than the adultery of such person; provided, that if such former marriage has been dissolved for the cause of the adultery of such person, he or she may marry again in the cases provided for in section eight of this chapter and such subsequent marriage shall be valid; 3. Such former marriage has been dissolved pursuant to section seven-a of this chapter. ("This is regarding annulment of a
voidable marriage".)| N.Y. D.R.L., §6, found at [ [http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS N.Y. D.R.L., §6, at the Official NY State web site] ]
Under the law of the
United Kingdom, a void marriage is "one that is considered never to have taken place, whatever procedure may have been followed by the people concerned." [ [http://www.kevinboone.com/lawglos_VoidMarriage.html Kevin Boone web site] ] Under the relevant law, Matrimonial Causes Act (1973): quote|a marriage is void if ... the partners are related in a forbidden degree (see: Marriage). For example, a marriage between brother and sister would be void. It does not matter if the partners did not know they were related when the ceremony was carried out (odd as it sounds, this has happened in adoption cases), either partner was under 16 years of age, the formal procedures of marriage were not correctly followed; for example, the wedding may not have been in a registered building, or open to the public, the partners were of the same gender at birth.| [http://www.kevinboone.com/lawglos_VoidMarriage.html Kevin Boone web site]
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