Weird Marriage Laws You May Be Breaking Without Knowing
Strange marriage laws are on the books all over the world, and in every state in the US. While some of these funny laws about marriage are arcane relics leftover from centuries ago (such as the requirement that men in a small Cape Cod town kill six blackbirds before marrying), and others quirks of history or circumstance, others are incredibly restrictive, dangerous, and harmful to women.
As with the odd and silly laws controlling marriage in many countries, so too are there strange divorce laws. Some states let you divorce at the drop of a hat, while others make it quite difficult. There are countries where blame MUST be assigned - and some where divorce is simply illegal. There are also laws about what married people can do, even if they're legally wed.Here are some of the most unusual laws about marriage and divorce in the world. See how many you might be breaking!
Montana Allows Double Proxy MarriageWhile a few states with large military presences allow proxy marriage - in which one party of the wedding isn't present for the ceremony - Montana allows double proxy marriage, where neither party is present. A soldier stationed in Kuwait can marry someone living in Kentucky - as long as one is a resident of Montana.
Wichita Is a Mother-in-Law's ParadiseWichita, KS has a law that makes it compulsory to be nice to one's mother-in-law. If you mistreat them, it can be grounds for divorce.
France Allows Posthumous Marriage but It's TrickyA French law passed during World War I allows women to marry men who are dead - likely to allow fiancées and girlfriends to obtain death benefits. The law was clarified in 1950 after a woman wanted to marry a man who died in a dam breach. The new rules made it much harder to marry posthumously. In fact, it can't be done without express permission of the President of France. You also have to provide proof that the deceased intended to marry you before they died.
Men on Cape Cod Have to Kill Birds in Order to Be MarriedApparently, in 1771 in the small town of Truro on Cape Cod, birds eating crops was a problem. Hence, the town voted that "Every single man in the township shall kill six blackbirds or three crows, and shall not be married till they comply with this requisition."
Outdoor Weddings Aren't Legal in EnglandBecause of laws requiring the solemnization of marriages, weddings must take place in a "fixed structure" with a roof - such as a church or house. This means no open-air, outdoor, or garden weddings. Exemptions exist for religious groups other than the Church of England, and laws are being proposed that would overturn the ban altogether.
Married Couples Can't Sleep Naked in a Rented Room in Salem, MAIt's no surprise that a town that once burned witches hangs on to a bit of its prudish past. In the case of Salem, MA, it's still against the law for married couples to sleep naked in a rented room, though it remains a mystery as to how this is enforced.