Close Menu
Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer
Call for Consultation 410-838-0004

Exploring Unlawful Marriages Under Maryland Family Law

Family2

Marriage is one of the central aspects of family law in Maryland. In most cases, adults in Maryland have the freedom to marry a person of their choosing. In certain situations, however, state law prohibits two people from entering into a marriage. If such a marriage occurs anyway, it is considered null and void under Maryland law. Furthermore, the parties to a void marriage can face criminal charges and fines for violating Maryland state law.

Direct Family Relations

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 2-202 details the rules governing marriage between direct family members. Under this section, it is unlawful for a person to marry their:

  • Child;
  • Grandchild;
  • Grandparent;
  • Parent; or
  • Sibling.

Under Section 2-202, any person who violates the rules against marrying direct family members is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for this offense is typically a maximum fine of $1,500.

Other Family Relations

In addition to prohibiting marriages between direct family members, Section 2-202 also bars marriage between other family members. Under this section, it is unlawful for a person to marry their:

  • Child’s spouse;
  • Grandchild’s spouse;
  • Grandparent’s spouse;
  • Parent’s sibling;
  • Sibling’s child;
  • Spouse’s child;
  • Spouse’s grandchild;
  • Spouse’s grandparent;
  • Spouse’s parent; or
  • Stepparent.

Under Section 2-202, any person who violates the rules against marrying other family members is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for this offense is typically a maximum fine of $500.

Minor Children

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 2-301 establishes the marriage guidelines for minor children under the age of 18. Under this section, minor children aged 14 or younger are not allowed to get married in Maryland. There are special considerations for minor children who are 15, 16, or 17 years old.

It is possible for a 15-year-old child to get married if:

  • The child’s parent or legal guardian provides consent; and
  • The woman to be married is currently pregnant or recently gave birth.

It is possible for a 16- or 17-year-old child to get married if:

  • The child’s parent or legal guardian provides consent; or
  • The woman to be married is currently pregnant or recently gave birth.

In other words, 16- and 17-year-old children can get married in the absence of consent from their parent or legal guardian, although this is only possible in situations involving a current pregnancy or recent birth.

Under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 2-302, any person who violates the marriage rules for minor children is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for this offense is typically a maximum fine of $250.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you need legal help with marriage or other aspects of family law in Maryland, it can be greatly constructive to reach out to an adept family law attorney. The Bel Air family attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including marriage and related considerations. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2017 - 2019 Schlaich & Thompson Chartered. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab