Monday, May 09, 2005

Goin to the Chapel..maybe.


Goin to the Chapel, eh? Well hold on there partner. You 've got some hurtles to go through first.

First, you must obtain a marriage lisence from a county clerk in Texas. However, you are under no obligation to obtain that liscense from a county where either party lives. You also don't have to have the wedding where the lisense was obtained. (2.004).

You do, however, have to be old enough to get married. Eighteen is the age when you can do this without anyone's permission. You can get married as young as fourteen (God forbid anyone giving you that permission). A youngster can get married if they provide within 30 days of an application for marriage a written sworn consent form from either their legal guardian or parent. The youngster can also petition the court- apparently even when the legal guardian or parent refuses to give permission. (2.009(a)(4)(C). I think this that such a situation would be open for a constitutional challenge.

And as unsettling as it is, in Texas, you can marry your first cousin. Yuck. Thankfully siblings (full or half-blood or by adoption), your uncle or aunt, your children, or your neice or nephew are still off limits. (2.001(b)(6); 2.009(a)(5)).

If you ever get a client who is fourteen years old asking you to petition the court for permission to marry her first cousin remember- even if it is Jerry Lee Lewis, you just say NO!