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Written by Paula Jones Last updated: June 6, 2006
Before you propose you should be aware of the legal restrictions on marriage
In England and Wales you cannot get married if:
|A man may not marry his:||A woman may not marry her:|
|father’s mother||father’s father|
|mother’s mother||mother’s father|
|son’s daughter||son’s son|
|daughter’s daughter||daughter’s son|
|father’s sister||father’s brother|
|mother’s sister||mother’s brother|
|brother’s daughter||brother’s son|
|sister’s daughter||sister’s son|
|A man may not marry a:||A woman may not marry a:|
|daughter of a former wife||son of a former husband|
|former wife of his father||former husband of her mother|
|former wife of his father’s father||former husband of her father’s mother|
|former wife of his mother’s father||former husband of her mother’s mother|
|daughter of a son of a former wife||son of a daughter of a former husband|
|daughter of a daughter of a former wife|
Relatives in law
|A man may not marry:||A woman may not marry:|
|The mother of a former wife||The father of a former husband|
|The former wife of a son||The former husband of a daughter|
Under the Marriage Act of 1986, certain relatives are now allowed to marry, but there are strict requirements and these marriages may usually only take place during a civil ceremony, under license.
Provided they are aged 21 years or older, step‐relatives may marry. However, the younger member of the couple must, at no time before the age of 18, have lived under the same roof as the older person. Neither must they have been treated as a child of the older person’s family.
Certain relatives‐in‐law may marry if they are both at least 21 and the family members involved in creating the in‐law relationship are both dead.
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