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The Most Bizarre Marriage & Divorce Laws In The United States

For the most part, when we discuss different state laws regarding divorce, there are two major categories we talk about ”“ community property states and equitable division states. There are also fault and no-fault states. But if you dive deep into our national divorce laws, you will find some pretty strange provisions that might leave you scratching your head. Here are some of the weirdest marriage and divorce laws in the United States.

  • In six states (Hawaii, North Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah), if a divorcing spouse blames a third party for the failure of a marriage, they can actually sue that third party for alienation of affection. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a matter of adultery, although that’s the common reason. Family members, counselors, even clergy members have been sued for convincing one party to divorce another.
  • In Kentucky, you cannot remarry the same person four times. Why? We don’t know. But if the third marriage didn’t work out, it’s probably for the best to have someone step in and say enough is enough.
  • It’s just a prank, bro! In Delaware, you can have your marriage annulled by checking a box on the form saying that the marriage happened because of a “jest or dare.” Have you ever dared someone to marry you, just, like, for fun? Talk about commitment.
  • What if you want to get married, but the date is just not good for you and you don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of rescheduling? If you live in California, Colorado (shout out), Texas or Montana, you can have a marriage by proxy. That means you have someone stand in for you at the wedding. This is limited to members of the U.S. Armed Forces, though, and of all of those states, Montana is the only one that allows double marriage by proxy ”“ neither the bride nor the groom have to show up!
  • In South Carolina, don’t pull a Delaware and propose as a dare or joke ”“ if you are over 16 years old, you commit a misdemeanor by proposing to someone and not meaning it. This is due to the Offenses Against Morality and Decency Act.
  • Planning on a Mardi Gras wedding in New Orleans? Don’t try to have a palm reader, fortune teller or mystic of any other sort officiate your wedding ”“ it’s illegal. Maybe they don’t want you spoiling your happily ever after by seeing the future.

Who is to say whether a lot of these laws are even enforceable, but it is interesting to see how local cultures can influence the laws of the land.

Our Denver divorce attorneys are well versed on the complexities of Colorado family law and are committed to ensuring an equitable divorce for you and your spouse.