Impediments to a Valid Marriage
1. Age -must be a certain age to legally be wed.
. At common law a male under the age of 14 can’t marry, and a female under the age of 12 can’t marry. The result of this is a void marriage.
. If female is over age 12 and male is over 14, but under age 18, they are minors and must obtain court permission to wed. If a marriage were to occur it would be voidable: subject to an annulment down the line.
2. Consanguinity – prohibits marriage to blood relatives
. Prohibits marriage of a man to his: Grandmother, mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, or niece.
. Prohibits marriage of a woman to her: Grandfather, father, son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew.
3. Affinity – Prohibits marriage to step/in-law relatives (while they remain relatives, if marriage is terminated,no longer apply)
. Prohibits marriage of a man to his: step grandmother, step mother, step daughter, step granddaughter, grandmother in law, mother in law, daughter in law, granddaughter in law.
. Prohibits marriage of a woman to her: step grandfather, step father, step son, step grandson, grandfather in law, father in law, son in law, grandson in law.
4. Lack of Mental Capacity – Person must have the capacity to:
a. Understand what marriage is, that it is a total commitment to one person in every way.
b. Be willing to enter into a marriage and consent to it.
5. Prior or Present Marriage Still in Effect – Any purported marriage by a presently married person is void.
. What about during the period of divorce nisi?
*Divorce Nisi: Temporary divorce judgment which becomes final after 90 days. If the new marriage happens during the period of divorce nisi, it is a void marriage because the person’s previous marriage is not terminated.
Curing Statute – Marriage of Previously Married Person will become valid if:
. One of the parties entered into the marriage in good faith
. Each of the members lived together as husband and wife
. Continued to do so after the impediment (previous marriage) ceased
. At least one person believed that the marriage was valid thereafter.
*Second spouse would still have certain rights as a result of the curing statute in some situations.